Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
UPDATE: President Obama traveled to Aurora, Colo. Sunday and met with families whose relatives were killed in the movie theater shooting Friday and exchanged words of sympathy with survivors who were still in the hospital. Obama urged Americans to focus on the victims rather than the suspect, who “has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days.” During his visit, both Obama and White House press secretary Jay Carney assured victims and their families they would not use Holmes’ name, according to the brother of a victim, reports Politico.
To that end, Obama told the story of how one young woman saved the life of a friend who had been shot by keeping pressure on a vein, reports the Associated Press. "I come to them not so much as president as I do as a father and as a husband," Obama told reporters. "The reason stories like this have such an impact on us is because we could all understand what it would be to have somebody we love taken from us in this fashion."
Meanwhile, one law enforcement official tells Bloomberg that suspect James Holmes spent a total of $15,000 over the past several months on weapons and ammunition and had 90 packages delivered to his workplace. Holmes, whom officials say is not providing them with any information, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Arapahoe County Court, outside Denver.
Sunday, July 21, at 2:10 p.m.: President Obama is traveling to Colorado Sunday to meet families of those killed at a movie theater in a Denver suburb Friday morning. Obama will also talk to local officials during the two-and-a-half hours he will spend in Colorado, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, the University of Colorado said Sunday it is investigating whether James Holmes used his position as a graduate student to order some of the material he used to turn his Aurora, Colo., apartment into an intricate and potentially deadly booby trap, reports the Associated Press. The 24-year-old reportedly received numerous deliveries during four months preceding the shooting, police said. The New York Daily News hears word that Holmes received nearly 200 pounds of ammo at his apartment through FedEx and UPS.
Speaking to CBS News, Aurora police chief Daniel Oates emphatically rejected officials are looking at another suspect or person of interest in the shooting. "All the evidence we have, every single indicator, is that ... this is all Mr. Holmes' activity and that he wasn't particularly aided by anyone else," Oates said. "We're building a case to show that this was a deliberative process by a very intelligent man who wanted to do this."
One thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that the death toll could have been much higher. The Associated Press corroborates a report that Holmes’ semiautomatic assault rifle jammed during the attack, which forced him to switch to a gun with less fire power.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told NBC News there are still no clues as to why Holmes might have carried out the massacre. Hickenlooper described Homles as “a twisted, really delusional individual,” adding that he hasn’t been cooperating with authorities. "He was diabolical, demonic," the governor said.
Sunday, July 21, at 4:31 a.m.: The man suspected of going on a shooting rampage during the premiere of the new Batman film in a Denver suburb on Friday morning appears to have planned the attack with “calculation and deliberation” for months, reports Reuters. James Holmes, 24, received several deliveries over the last four months and seems to have bought lots of his supplies online, police said Saturday. And he didn’t buy just guns and ammo but also explosive material and incendiary devices to turn his apartment into an elaborate booby trap that would injure or even kill anyone who entered.
After a painstaking process, all the hazardous material, including an explosive device and multiple containers of accelerants, was removed from the apartment Saturday afternoon. The Washington Post has the details, saying there were a total of around 60 “incendiary and chemical devices,” including what one official called “improvised grenades” and “improvised napalm.” It’s not clear why Holmes would tell police about his booby trapped apartment so quickly after he was apprehended Friday morning.
Yet after the apartment was deemed safe, investigators immediately got to work at the scene. In the evening, police seemed to have a retrieved a laptop and a hard drive from the apartment, reports the Associated Press.
Also on Saturday, the list of victims was officially released and the most striking aspect is how young the victims were. Only one of those killed was older than 32. Among the dead were a 6-year-old who had just learned how to swim; a 24-year-old aspiring sportscaster; a 27-year-old who was celebrating his birthday; and two young men, one 27 and the other 26, who apparently were killed while trying to shield their girlfriends. The Denver Post has a full list and points out that the mother of the 6-year-old is still in critical condition and has not been informed of her daughter’s death.
Saturday, July 21, at 1:46 p.m.: Law enforcement officials managed to deactivate one trip wire and remove one explosive device inside suspected gunman James Holmes’ apartment Saturday. The traps were meant to kill anyone entering the apartment, but police emphasized that this was only “the first threat” and there are “still unknowns” because “we’re not exactly sure of everything that’s in there,” reports NBC News.
Gov. John Hickenlooper is at the scene and now bomb technicians will enter the second phase of the operation, which will likely include a controlled detonation, details the Denver Post. Around 30 other ammunition shells and up to 30 “other devices” also need to be disarmed before investigators can begin collecting evidence, reports the Associated Press.
Saturday, July 21, at 11:48 a.m.: As officials desperately hunt for clues a day after a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 59 others at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film in a Denver suburb, police will once again try to enter the suspect’s apartment Saturday. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates had described 24-year-old James Holmes’ apparently booby trapped apartment as “vexing” due to what seemed to be a number of trip wires, jars full of an unknown liquid, and what appeared to be mortar rounds, reports the Denver Post.
Although there were plans to send in a robot, they were nixed after it became clear it might not be able to avoid detonating the device. Instead, officials focused on evacuating nearby apartments first.
Indeed, Aurora police warned they might not be able to avoid detonating the explosives inside the apartment. “There are still unknowns,” one police officer said. “We are not exactly sure of everything that is in there.” Police said Saturday morning they would set off "controlled detonations" in the apartment, reports Reuters. Yet officials obviously don't want to destroy any evidence. The plan is to render the trip wires harmless and remove the ammunition from the apartment so that officials can investigate for clues, reports the New York Times.
In a chilling part of a story that has no shortage of incredible, hard-to-believe details, the graduate student who lives in the apartment below Holmes’ said she heard loud music coming from upstairs right after midnight. She went upstairs and the door was ajar but she decided not to push it open. "I'm concerned if I had opened the door, I would have set it off," she tells the Associated Press. Another neighbor also allegedly knocked on Holmes’ door, according to the New York Times.
As officials finished notifying families of the deceased, a memorial with flowers and candles has been set up outside the shopping mall where the deadliest shooting rampage since an Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. The Aurora death toll could rise as 11 of the 30 people who remain hospitalized are in critical condition, according to Reuters.
The Washington Post provides one of the most vivid accounts of what happened Friday morning in Aurora when a “figure wearing a gas mask and black body armor stepped into the theater.” The shooter apparently enjoyed the movie for a bit before acting like he had to take a call and propping the emergency-exit door open. Bloomberg has the details of what happened next. First he threw at least one tear-gas canister, then opened fire with a shotgun into the first few rows, then switched to a rifle and targeted people throughout the theater. When that jammed, he switched to a pistol.
POST, Friday, July 20, at 6:09 p.m.: At least 12 people were killed and nearly 60 others injured early Friday morning in Aurora, Colo., when a masked gunman opened fire during a midnight opening of The Dark Knight Rises. The 24-year-old suspected shooter, James Holmes, was taken into custody without a fight after carrying out what is believed to be the worst mass shooting attack (in terms of total number injured) in U.S. history.
Local police say that the suspect's apartment appears to be booby-trapped, and that it could take days before they'll be able to get inside. Below is our live-blog of the day's developments. We'll continue to update with any major developments, but you can also check out some of Slate's other coverage, including Dana Stevens on why the shooting may have occurred where it did, David Weigel on whether an armed citizen could have played hero, Will Oremus on Holmes' lack of an online presence, and Eliot Spitzer on the shooting's "inevitability."
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UPDATE No. 54, 5:40 p.m.: CNN and NBC News, both citing an unnamed federal law enforcement source, are now reporting that they can confirm that Holmes had dyed his hair red or orange and told police he was the "Joker." (Although, NBC notes: Red/orange hair isn't typically associated with the green-haired villain featured in previous installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.)
At a press conference earlier Friday, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates wouldn't confirm the Joker details, although he did admit to speaking earlier in the day with some old colleagues at the NYPD, which was the source of the initial reports.
UPDATE No. 53, 5:20 p.m.: Bass Pro Shops, a chain of outdoor stores from which Holmes bought some of the guns he is believed to have used to carry out Friday's shooting, is out with this statement:
We want to offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families. This is an unspeakable tragedy and we join with all Americans in offering our prayerful support.
Based on the records we have reviewed, personnel in our Denver store correctly and fully followed all federal requirements with respect to the sale of one shotgun and one handgun to the individual identified in this incident. Background checks, as required by federal law, were properly conducted and he was approved.
Again, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We also offer our support and appreciation to the law enforcement and emergency professionals and all others who responded to give aid to these innocent victims.
UPDATE No. 52, 4:59 p.m.: Our art team has put together a photo gallery of the aftermath of the shooting, you can check that out here:
UPDATE No. 51, 4:52 p.m.: An unnamed law enforcement official tells the Associated Press that while James Holmes surrendered to police with little to no resistance, he is currently not talking to authorities. The AP with a few more brushstrokes for the picture of the suspected gunman who shot more than 70 people early Friday morning:
Those who knew the 24-year-old describe him as a shy, intelligent person raised in California by parents who were active in their well-to-do suburban neighborhood.
Holmes, who was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program in Colorado, grew up in San Diego, where his parents still live on a quiet street of two-story homes with red tile roofs. He played soccer at Westview High School and ran cross country before going to college.
Neighbors say the family belonged to a Presbyterian church and hosted a Christmas party for residents. Many families choose the San Diego neighborhood because it is part of the well-regarded Poway Unified School District, one of the best in California.
UPDATE No. 50, 4:20 p.m.: Slate's Dana Stevens tries to answer the question of why the shooting took place where it did:
I can’t get away from the fact that this act of violence took place—with, from the look of it, considerable advance planning—at an opening-night midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, a movie that (like the rest of the trilogy it concludes) envisions modernity as a lawless dystopia where just such a thing might happen.
UPDATE No. 49, 3:51 p.m.: The Washington Post reports that Holmes was in academic trouble at the University of Colorado, where he was in a graduate program in neurosciences at the school's Denver campus:
[T]he 24-year-old performed poorly on his comprehensive tests this spring. He was in serious academic trouble, according to a faculty member who spoke on condition of anonymity. His solution was to quit. The school said Friday that Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the program.
UPDATE No. 48, 3:40 p.m.: Slate's Will Oremus takes a look at the suspect's lack of an online presence:
News of the massacre at the Batman screening in Aurora, Colo., this morning sent a thousand journalists (and “citizen journalists”) to their browsers, racing to be the first to uncover the telling detail about the suspect. Would James Holmes turn out, like Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner, to have confessed in an online gaming forum to “hav(ing) aggression 24/7?” Might he have penned online political screeds, like Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik? Maybe. But if so, they weren’t forthcoming Friday morning.
UPDATE No. 47, 3:20 p.m.: ABC News reports: "James Holmes' firearms were legally purchased at Bass Pro Shops & Gander Mountain Guns within the last several months."
UPDATE No. 46, 2:55 p.m.: President Obama has ordered the American flag flown at half-staff over the White House and all public buildings and grounds to honor the victims of the shooting. In a statement, the president said the gesture was "a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless violence" in Aurora, Colo.
The flags will fly at half-staff until sunset on July 25.
UPDATE No. 45, 2:22 p.m.: Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates just briefed the media, confirming much—but not all—of what has been already reporter whlie shedding new light on other aspects of the shooting.
—The suspected gunman: James Eagan Holmes."We are confident that he acted alone. ... We are not speculating on motive."
—The victims: A total of 71 people were shot during the attack, 12 of which died. Ten of those were killed in the theater, while the remaining two fatalities occurred after the victims had been transported to local hospitals. Of the 59 injured, "many" are in critical condition.
—The weapons: Police believe that Holmes used three weapons: an AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a .40 caliber Glock handgun. Another .40 Glock was found in the car. Oates said that there were "many, many rounds fired" but that they do not have the capability to know how many total shots were fired. The shooter also used two devices to "distract" the audience after entering through an exit door.
—The suspect's appearance: Oates said that Holmes was decked out in full black assault gear, including a ballistic helmet along with throat, leg, and groin protection, along with tactical gloves.
—Response time: Authorities received the first of hundreds of 911 call at 12:39 a.m. local (Mountain) time. The first officers were on the scene within one to one-and-a-half minutes. In all, 200 officers responded.
—The Booby-Trapped apartment: Details remain unclear, although there appears to be incendiary devices and chemicals. "We simply don't know how we're going to handle that."
UPDATE No. 44, 1:44 p.m.: The National Journal explains why today's shooting is unlikely to change the conversation about gun control among national lawmakers:
"The National Rifle Association is still winning. The shooting Friday in Colorado is likely to fade into the current gun-policy no-man’s land where there is much talk and little action. And that’s not because the NRA is all powerful. It’s because lawmakers do not face or fear retaliation from gun-control supporters when they consider measures that loosen gun restrictions."
UPDATE No. 43, 1:35 p.m.: One police official tells ABC News that the suspected gunman told authorities that he was the "Joker" after being taken into custody. No official confirmation on that yet, but it does line up with what the NYPD suggested earlier today.
UPDATE No. 42, 1:33 p.m.: NBC News reports that the suspected shooter, James Holmes, will be arraigned in court Monday morning.
UPDATE No. 41, 1:30 p.m.: ABC News reports that there were "hundreds if not over a thousand rounds of .233 ammunition" in James Holmes' car.
UPDATE No. 40, 1:27 p.m.: NBC News reports that police say the suspected shooter's apartment was rigged with tripwires and bottles containing unknown substances. While local officials say the apartment appears to be booby-trapped with sophisticated explosives, federal sources now tell CNN that bomb-sniffing dogs on the scene have not turned up any explosives.
UPDATE No. 39, 1:20 p.m.: CNN has cleared up some of the early reporting on the assault rifle used in the attack. While the network had originally reported it was an "AK47-style" weapon, sources now say it was a .223 caliber knockoff of an AR-15.
UPDATE No. 38, 1:12 p.m.: The Colorado Tea Party Patriots are understandably none too pleased with ABC News' Brian Ross for wrongly suggesting a link between the group and the shooter during his coverage earlier Friday (via Politico):
The Colorado Tea Party Patriots and the Tea Party Patriots are saddened to hear of the death and wounding of theater goers in Aurora, Colorado. The member of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots, Jim Holmes, age 52 is not the same person who has been identified as the shooter.
The attempts of some media organizations to characterize the shooter as a Tea Party member without having made any effort to contact our organization are shameless and reprehensible.
UPDATE No. 37, 1 p.m.: The NYT with more on the reports that Holmes was dressed as a movie character: "New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the suspect in the shootings had red-painted hair that resembled the character 'The Joker' from the Batman comics and movies."
UPDATE No. 36, 12:57 p.m.: Here's the full statement from James Holmes' family (some of whom live in San Diego):
Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. Our family is cooperating with authorities in both San Diego, California, and Aurora, Colorado. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy.
UPDATE No. 35, 12:52 p.m.: The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik on the Aurora murders and the silence about gun control:
The truth is made worse by the reality that no one—really no one—anywhere on the political spectrum has the courage to speak out about the madness of unleashed guns and what they do to American life. That includes the President, whose consoling message managed to avoid the issue of why these killings take place. Of course, we don’t know, and perhaps never will, what exactly "made him" do what he did; but we know how he did it. Those who fight for the right of every madman and every criminal to have as many people-killing weapons as they want share moral responsibility for what happened last night—as they will when it happens again. And it will happen again.
UPDATE No. 34, 12:45 p.m.: Romney speaking in New Hampshire: "Our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy."
UPDATE No. 33, 12:42 p.m.: @NBCNews reports that U.S. Defense Department officials say that two Air Force reservists and one Navy service member were among the wounded.
UPDATE No. 32, 12:31 p.m.: An emergency doctor on call at the children's hospital where six of the shooting victims were taken tells CBS News' Sarah Boxer that two had "high power rifle type wounds."
UPDATE No. 31, 12:23 p.m.: Time magazine has more on the suspected shooter:
According to public records, the last address associated with Holmes was about three miles from the theater, near the intersection of 17th Avenue and Peoria Street in Aurora. He may have resided there with two roommates, although police have ruled out any accomplices in the attack. Records indicate that Holmes had lived at this address since May 2011. Prior to that, he lived in San Diego and Riverside, Calif., near the University of California, Riverside, campus. An official in the university registrar’s office told TIME that Holmes attended the university, but couldn’t release any specific details because of restrictions he requested on his records. According to the Associated Press, Holmes was studying for a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver, but withdrew from the program last month.
A San Diego police spokeswoman told TIME on Friday morning that Holmes had no criminal record while living in the San Diego area. And according to a spokesman for the Aurora police department who spoke to the Today show, Holmes had no history with police other than one minor traffic ticket. Federal authorities maintain that he was not on any watch list that would indicate that he was dangerous, and the incident is not believed to be associated with any act of terrorism.
UPDATE No. 30, 12:15 p.m.: A bit of cleanup to UPDATE No. 9 about the aspiring sportscaster who is among the confirmed dead. Her actual name appears to be Jessica Ghawi, although she wrote and tweeted under the name Jessica Redfield.
UPDATE No. 29, 12:10 p.m. Reuters has a photo of the suspected shooter, James Holmes, which it obtained from the University of Colorado.
UPDATE No. 28, 11:58 a.m.: The Aurora shooting has already sparked plenty of heated discussion about gun control (as a quick trip to the Comments section of this post will illustrate), something Michael Bloomberg wants more of.
The New York City mayor challenged President Obama and Mitt Romney on Friday to weigh in on the issue. "Soothing words are nice, but maybe its time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it," he said in an interview with a local NYC radio station. "Because this is obviously a problem across the country."
UPDATE No. 27, at 11:50 a.m.: We have a leader in the clubhouse for worst-timed tweet of the day. @nra_rifleman, which describes itself as the official handle of the NRA's American Rifleman journal, at 9:20 am: "Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?"
UPDATE No. 26, 11:42 a.m.: CNN has more on the shooter's four weapons: One assault rifle described by the network as an "AK47-type of assault rifle" (it is not known if it was automatic or semi-automatic), one shotgun, and two handguns of unspecified caliber.
UPDATE No. 25, 11:33 a.m.: The Pentagon says it believes that some of the victims—unclear if they are among the dead—are U.S. military members.
UPDATE No. 24, 11:28 a.m.: The shooter's family has released a statement saying that their "hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy in Colorado," ABC News reports.
UPDATE No. 23, 11:26 a.m.: ABC News has tacked on an editor's note atop its story, correcting its earlier suggestion of a link between the shooter and the Tea Party:
An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.
UPDATE No. 22, 11:22 a.m.: "There are going to be other days for politics," Obama said this morning. Both he and Romney seem to agree. The Hill reports that both campaigns have pulled their negative ads off the air in Colorado.
UPDATE No. 21, 11:18 a.m.: The Atlantic has a good look at how Reddit managed to piece together one of the first narratives of the shooting by cobbling together eyewitness accounts and cellphone videos.
UPDATE No. 20, 11:15 a.m.: BBC News has a roundup of some of the survivors recounting what happened. "I had gun shells falling on my head, burning my head," said one.
UPDATE No. 19, 11:13 a.m.: ABC News reports James Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado Denver Medical Campus. He withdrew in June.
UPDATE No. 18, 11:10 a.m.: A CNN anchor just suggested that there are rumors circulating that the shooter was dressed as a character from the movie—although reporters on the scene appear unable to confirm that. There may be some confusion given the shooter was dressed in dark clothes, wearing both a gas mask and a bulletproof vest.
UPDATE No. 17, 11:05 a.m.: Think Progress reports that the attack is the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since since the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, which killed 32 people and wounded 15 others.
UPDATE No. 16, 11 a.m.: The political finger-pointing has already begun. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said Friday that the Aurora shooting was a result of "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs" and questioned why no one else in the theater was armed and ready to take the shooter out. Then there's this: "@DRUDGE_REPORT: BREITBART: Shooter maybe registered Democrat."
Meanwhile, ABC News' Brian Ross raised some eyebrows earlier this morning when he offered premature speculation about a possible link between the shooter and the Tea Party based on some cursory Internet research.
"There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year," Ross said. "Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."
As HuffPo, explains: "The page that Ross seems to have been looking at has no identifiable information about the person on it other than his name."
UPDATE No. 15, 10:58 a.m.: Aurora police now say that the shooting suspect's third-floor apartment is "booby trapped" with sophisticated explosives. Reuters reports that the Aurora police chief says the explosives are "very sohpisticated" and police could be at the scene "for hours or days." NBC News reports that the area around the apartment has been evacuated.
UPDATE No. 14, 10:53 a.m.: The NYT has a map of the site of the shooting.
UPDATE No. 13, 10: 48 a.m.: President Obama came out onstage in Fort Meyers, Fla. The event has originally supposed to be a campaign event, but obviously things changed with news of the shooting. "This morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways we are united as one American family. ... We're still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora but what we do know is the police have one suspect in custody. And the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for the heinous crime to justice."
More: "The people lost in Aurora loved and were loved. ... There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection."
UPDATE No. 12, 10:42 a.m.: Aurora Police PIO Frank Fania on the arrest: "He did not resist. He did not put up a fight. I don't know the exact details or if the officers surprised him or how it actually happened. But I know some of the first officers that you know arrived, i don't know if it was within seconds, maximum a couple minutes, found him behind the theater at his car and took him into custody there."
UPDATE No. 11, 10:40 a.m.: Based on what a number of the witnesses are telling media outlets, it appears as though the unspecified gas that the shooter released in the theater was indeed tear gas.
UPDATE No. 10, 10:32 a.m.: Here's CNN's thumbnail of the shooter. Name: James Holmes; born Dec. 13, 1987; white male who lived in an apartment about 4 miles from the theater.
UPDATE No. 9, 10:30 a.m.: Deadspin has more on one of the 12 confirmed dead, aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi who wrote and tweeted under the name Jessica Redfield. One of her last blog entries was an account of last month's Eaton Centre shooting in Toronto:
I can't get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won't go away. I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court. An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm‘s way. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting. ...
I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders' faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
There was also this pre-movie tweet: "@JessicaRedfield: Never thought I'd have to coerce a guy into seeing the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises with me."
UPDATE No. 8, 10:25 a.m.: CNN reports that the movie theater where the shooting took place was roughly three blocks from the local police department.
UPDATE No. 7, 10: 20 a.m.: Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper is out with a brief statement as well: "This is not only an act of extreme violence, it is also an act of depravity."
UPDATE No. 6, 10:18 a.m.: HuffPo points out that Aurora was named by Forbes magazine as America's ninth "safest city" last year.
UPDATE No. 5, 10:12 a.m.: The BBC reports that when police arrived at Holmes' apartment, they used a fire ladder to enter through an upstairs window out of concern that the residence was booby trapped.
UPDATE No. 4, 10:05 a.m.: The NYT has a statement from Warner Bros.: “Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”
UPDATE No. 3, 9:58 a.m.: President Obama—who is currently in Palm Beach, Fla., and is expected to address the nation later today—released the following statement:
Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.
UPDATE No. 2, 9:52 a.m.: CNN reports that the suspect had four weapons—an assault rifle, two handguns, and a shotgun—on him when he was taken into custody. A subsequent search of his apartment appears to have turned up no explosives.
UPDATE No. 1, 9:45 a.m.: ABC News reports that NYPD Commissioner Kelly says that as a "precaution against copycats," police officers will be sent to cover The Dark Knight Rises showings in New York City. Meanwhile, the AP reports that the Paris premiere of the movie has been canceled in the wake of the shooting.
Friday, July 20: A masked gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than three dozen others, police said Friday.
The Associated Press reports that the shooter—IDed by federal law enforcement as 24-year-old James Holmes, described as a white American—also set off an unknown gas as part of the attack, a move that left some moviegoers confused as to whether it was all part of the show. By the time many realized, it was too late.
"I told my friend 'we've got to get out of here,' but then he shot people trying to go out the exits," Jennifer Seeger recounted to NBC's Today.
According to the FBI, Holmes was arrested shortly after the 12:30 a.m. attack. He was taken into custody near the parking lot of the theater, and didn't put up a fight, CNN reports. According to the Denver Post, Holmes was armed with a rifle, handgun, and gas mask when he was arrested. There is no indication that he has ties to any terrorist group.
The initial death toll was reported at 14 dead and 50 injured, but was later revised down to 12 dead and 38 injured. No reason for the downward revision was given. Several of those injured were reportedly children, including a 3-month-old infant. Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania told ABC's Good Morning America that he didn't yet know whether all the injuries were gunshot wounds, and said that some might have been the result of other things like shrapnel.
The AP explains that shooting in Aurora is the worst mass shooting in the state of Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton in 1999. With 327,000 residents, Aurora is Colorado's third-largest city. It is about 13 miles from Littleton.