'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting: 12 Dead, 71 Injured in Midnight Screening Massacre (Updated)

'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting: 12 Dead, 71 Injured in Midnight Screening Massacre (Updated)

Jul 20, 2012

UPDATE: Due to the events in Aurora, Colorado earlier, Movies.com will be going dark for the remainder of today. Again, our thoughts and prayers remain with those impacted by these tragic events.

UPDATE 2: Director Christopher Nolan has released the following statement:

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

Earlier today, a 24-year-old lone gunman brought at least three guns, a gas mask, tear gas and a bulletproof vest into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. As of last count, 12 people are dead and at least 71 shot, while police say they have the person responsible in custody. The man reportedly waited until there was a scene involving gunfire before he began firing into the crowd.

One witness says the audience thought it was part of the movie -- then thought someone had let go of some fireworks. Eventually they realized it was gunfire, and at that point the theater turned to chaos. According to reports, the suspect's name is James Holmes. He was born in 1987 and has no prior police incidents, save for one traffic ticket last year.

President Obama was "shocked and saddened" to hear the news, saying "We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family." The theater is located approximately 15 miles away from the Littleton, Colorado, where in 1999 two kids shot up Columbine High School, killing 13 and wounding 23. At this time there is no relation between the two shootings.

Warner Bros. has canceled tonight's Paris premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in the wake of the shooting, while the cast has canceled all interviews. In a statement released to the media, the studio said, "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

Our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted by this event. We'll have more for you as it develops. [via MSNBC]

Note: Many reports, including the one below, indicate that 14 people are dead, however that number has since dropped to 12.

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