At least 12 people have been killed and up to 50 injured after a massÂ shooting at a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a suburban Denver movieÂ theater, police say.
The suspect, identified by federal law enforcement officials as James Holmes,Â 24, is in police custody. KUSA reports that Holmes kicked down an emergency doorÂ at the theater, threw in some type of a smoke bomb and began shooting whenÂ moviegoers started to run.
Witnesses say they heard a series of explosions and up to 20 gunshots afterÂ the scene grew chaotic. About 100 witnesses were taken to a local high school toÂ be questioned by police.
Holmes reportedly fired shots inside the theater and fled to the parking lotÂ and was confronted by police already at the theater for crowd control.
Holmes wore a bulletproof vest, police said, and was carrying a rifle and twoÂ handguns. The handguns may have been placed in the theater before theÂ shooting.
FBI spokesman Jason Pack said there’s no indication in the investigation soÂ far of any connection to terrorism.
President Obama said he is “shocked and saddened” by the mass shooting andÂ urged the nation to “come together as one American family.” He said hisÂ administration will do everything it can to support the people of Aurora, Colo.Â The White House says Obama, who was in Florida at the time of the shooting, wasÂ informed of the shooting by Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan.
James Cameron, who was in an adjacent theater, said he heard commotion andÂ screaming. People seated around him began coughing and having difficultyÂ breathing.
“By the sound of it, it sounds like there could have been three or four guysÂ shooting,” he said.
Audra Mincey, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Medical Center, told Fox NewsÂ there are two patients in critical condition.
Mincey said the hospital set up its incident command center and mobilizedÂ personnel.
Police Chief Dan Oates said there’s no evidence of any other attackers. ThereÂ was also no immediate word of any motive.
Holmes spoke of “possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing withÂ that potential threat,” Oates said.
Bejamin Fernandez, 30, told the Denver Post that he heard a series ofÂ explosions. He said that people ran from the theater and there were gunshots asÂ police shouted “get down!”
Fernandez said he saw people falling, including one youngÂ girl.
Jordan told the paper that one girl was struck in cheek, others in stomachÂ including a girl who looked to be around 9-years-old.
Jordan said it sounded like firecrackers until someone ran into Theater 8Â yelling “they’re shooting out here!”
Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he heard several shots.
“Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard peopleÂ screaming,” he told the station.
Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. ButÂ then he saw “people hunched over leaving theater.”
It was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since the 2007 shooting on theÂ Virginia Tech campus.
Some moviegoers said they thought the attack was part of the show. Then theyÂ saw a silhouette of a person in the smoke at the front of the theater, pointingÂ a gun at the crowd.
“I told my friend, `We’ve got to get out of here,’ but then he shot peopleÂ trying to go out the exits,” Jennifer Seeger told NBC’s “Today.” She the shooterÂ made his way up the aisle, shooting as he went, saying nothing.
The youngest victim reported was a 6-year-old being treated at Children’sÂ Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were taken. Their conditionÂ wasn’t known.
Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish MedicalÂ Center, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said.
Aurora is on Denver’s east side and is Colorado’s third-largest city withÂ 327,000 residents. It is home to a large Defense Department satelliteÂ intelligence operation at Buckley Air Force Base, as well as The Children’sÂ Hospital, the University of Colorado Hospital and a future Veterans AffairsÂ hospital.
Source: Fox News