US: 12 Killed, 38 Wounded in Shooting at Batman Movie

Posted July 20th, 2012 at 9:10 am (UTC-5)
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Police in the U.S. state of Colorado say 12 people were shot to death and at least 38 wounded in a shooting at a movie theater in a suburb of Denver.

Authorities say the midnight premier of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the latest Batman movie, had just begun Friday at the Century 16 theater in the city of Aurora, when a masked man at the front of the theater faced the packed crowd, threw a tear gas canister and started randomly shooting. Witnesses said he fatally shot an infant at point-blank range.

Police say they arrested the shooter a short time later in the parking lot outside the theater. They said the shooter, a man in his early 20's, had a rifle and one handgun. Aurora Chief of Police Daniel Oates told a news conference that only one man was involved, contrary to initial reports that there may have been an accomplice.

The police chief said the suspect told investigators he had multiple explosives at his residence in an apartment building. Hours after the shooting, U.S. television networks showed police perched on ladder truck cranes trying to gain entry to his residence.

“The suspect who's in custody, made statements about multiple possible explosives in possession of his residence. At this time there is a residence in his apartment building that we have evacuated and we are dealing with as potentially there are explosives inside there. We're also concerned about explosives in the parking lot, hence the parking lot is completely sealed off. We have brought in area bomb squad teams.”

In a statement issued by the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama says he and his wife Michelle are “shocked and saddened” by the “horrific and tragic” shooting. The White House says Mr. Obama was informed of the shooting by National Security Adviser John Brennan. FBI agents are on the scene of the shooting assisting in the investigation.

The president says “we are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice,” and to care for the wounded.

His Republican presidential challenger, Mitt Romney, said he and his wife Ann were “deeply saddened” by the shooting, which he called “senseless violence.”