Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: Largest Shooting in U.S. History

Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: 71 Victims the Largest Shooting in U.S. History – ABC News.

 

The Dark Knight Rises is a movie.  Unfortunately, the awful events of this morning are real:

“Twelve people were killed and 59 were injured in Aurora, Colo., during a sold-out midnight premier of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” when 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly unloaded four weapons’ full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd.

The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes, a graduate student at a nearby college with a clean arrest record, allegedly entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves. He detonated multiple smoke bombs, and then began firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium, police said today.

Bullets from the spree tore through the theater and into adjoining theaters, where at least one other person was struck and injured. Ten members of “The Dark Knight Rises” audience were killed in theater, while two others died later at area hospitals. Numerous patrons were in critical condition at six local hospitals, the Aurora police said this afternoon.

Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the 12:39 a.m. shooting at his car behind the theater, where police found him in full riot gear and carrying three weapons, including a AR-15 assault rifle, which can hold upwards of 100 rounds, a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, and a .40 Glock handgun. A fourth handgun was found in the vehicle. Agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are tracing the weapons. ABC news confirmed that they were all purchased legally.

According to police sources, Holmes told the officers arresting him that he was “The Joker,” referring to the villain in the second installment of the Batman movie trilogy, “The Dark Knight.” He also warned police that he had booby-trapped his apartment, leading officers to evacuate the Aurora apartment building.

Police Chief Dan Oates said today that police and bomb squads have found a large number of explosive devices and trip wires at Holmes’ apartment and have not yet decided how to proceed without setting off explosions.

“The pictures we have from inside the apartment are pretty disturbing considering how elaborate the apartment is booby trapped,” police said outside of the apartment complex today. The “flammable and explosive” materials could have blown up Holmes’ apartment building and the ones near it, police said.

The apartment complex is home exclusively to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and staff members, residents tell ABC News.”

 

The article goes on to include the completely unsurprised reaction of the shooter’s parents and several witness statements about this horrific event.  I don’t have many coherent things to say in the face of this tragedy.  My one clear thought is this: Space needs to be reclaimed, life needs to be affirmed, and no bully with a gun in his hands should have the right to control people through fear, through horror, or through grief.  These things will exist, they are natural responses to what happened.  But the shooter does not deserve to win influence or hold sway over any more victims than he’s already claimed.  I know the movies are tainted now and that many may not be able to feel comfortable there for awhile, particularly at this particular film.  I only wish that things which have felt safe before, have made people happy, have gotten people to stay out until the wee hours of the morning, will not be more casualties claimed by this madman.

Today brought so many people so much to recover from.  I hope that healing, both physical and mental, will come as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

 

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