Sad news out of Aurora, Colorado. What should have been an enjoyable theater experience turned into a real-life nightmare, when a gunman walked into the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” set off tear gas, and opened fire on the audience.
“The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting,” Lamar Lane, who was watching the midnight showing of the movie with his brother, told ABC News. “It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running.”
Chaos erupted. Movie goers were trying to crawl out the exits, as the suspect continued to pepper the audience. The youngest shooting victim is only three months old.
“We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant,” witness Christ Jones told ABC’s Denver affiliate KMGH. “I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two.”
“You just smelled smoke and you just kept hearing it, you just heard bam bam bam, non-stop. The gunman never had to reload. Shots just kept going, kept going, kept going,” one witness told ABC News.
The suspected gunman, James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, reportedly opened fire on the audience at 12:39 a.m. MT, police said.
Holmes was reportedly heavily armored and armed and wearing a gas mask. “The shooter used at least four guns — an “AK type” rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, said federal law enforcement officials,” CNN reported.
“I’m with coworkers and we’re on the floor praying to God we don’t get shot, and the gunshots continue on and on, and when the sound finally stopped, we started to get up and people were just bleeding,” another theatergoer told ABC.
Authorities said that 10 victims were declared dead at the theater and two died at hospitals. Dozens more are being treated for their injuries at local hospitals, including a six-year-old child.
“One police officer carried a girl believed to be about 9 with gunshot wounds to her back out of the theater, a witness said. ‘She wasn’t moving,'” CNN reported.
Hundreds of police and investigators reported to the scene. Witnesses were taken to a local high school to be questioned.
This is a developing story. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.[youtube url=”http://youtu.be/chTp1QozUDs” width=”450″]