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Last night’s midnight premiere of the long awaited Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, ended in tragedy just outside of Denver, Colorado, in the town of Aurora.
Shortly after the movie began, a lone gunman entered the theater and threw a canister at the ground. The package exploded in a cloud of noxious gas, which overcame movie patrons. The man was also armed with a rifle, a shotgun, and two handguns, which he used to open a Columbine-style shooting rampage.
The shooter has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes. CBS News reports that he is a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Riverside.
Holmes was reported as wearing all black, including a black mask. At the midnight premiere, many other patrons were dressed in costume, so his appearance likely did not seem out of the ordinary.
An eyewitness told 9News "He looked so calm when he did it," and it was later reported that Holmes did not resist arrest when he was located outside in the theater’s parking lot. CBS News reports that police have not determined a motive for Holmes’s violence.
At this time, news sources confirm that at least 12 people were killed and 50 wounded. They are being treated at several area hospitals.
Our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy and their families.