Aurora Police Chief: Total of 71 Were Shot in ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Screening
A press conference in Aurora, Colo., just wrapped up and revealed more details from today’s movie theater shooting. Officials have cleared the air on one issue, reporting that a total of 71 people were shot -- 12 died, and 59 were wounded.
Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates said his department is not speculating on motive at this time, but according to details revealed, it appears the shooter, James Eagen Holmes, 24, had planned to do this for a while. He walked in through an exit door, dressed in full ballistic armor -- including helmet, vest, throat protector, groin protector, a gas mask, and gloves. He was armed with an AR-15, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber Glock. He threw canisters into the crowd that released “an irritant or smoke” and distracted moviegoers.
He had an additional .40-caliber in his car, a white Hyundai, which was parked directly behind the theater. Police apprehended Holmes in that car, and he submitted with no protest.
The first 911 call came in at 12:39 a.m., and Oates said the switchboard was flooded with “hundreds of calls.” Officers were on the scene within 90 seconds. When they got there, 10 were dead and another 59 had been shot. Two more died at area hospitals. One of Holmes’ bullets penetrated a wall and hit a moviegoer in another theater, though there was no word on that person’s injuries.
There were four showings of the movie, and so as many as 200 people were in the building at the time, though Oates was not able to tell how many people were in the specific theater Holmes shot up. Oates said there was no way to determine how many round were fired.
Once police got to his apartment, they discovered it was “booby-trapped” with various incendiary and chemical devices, and officers have not yet figured out how to disarm it yet, if it is indeed harmful. Police have evacuated his apartment at 1690 Paris Street in Aurora.
Oates said his department is “confident” that Holmes acted alone. Officials have said neither Holmes nor his act appear to have any connection to terrorism. The police department said another update would be forthcoming at 7 p.m. MST.
Meanwhile, pranks have been propping up around the nation, including someone who called a radio station pretending to be Police Chief Oates.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also put everything into perspective, saying: “This is the act of apparently of a very deranged mind. This is a safe city, a safe state and a safe country, and we need to recognize that we can’t allow people who are aberrations of nature to take away the joys and freedoms we enjoy.”