Gunman in a gas mask shoots dead 15 people – including children – at midnight screening of Batman premiere
- Police estimate 50 people are injured – youngest receiving medical treatment is a six-year-old
- 10 victims died at the cinema and five at nearby hospitals
- A 6ft tall man, thought to be aged 24, dressed in black and wearing a gas mask opened fire in a mall in Aurora, Colorado
- Fired indiscriminately at audience with a rifle and two handguns after setting off a smoke bomb 30 minutes into the screening
- Man with two firearms, was arrested in a car park nearby and told the police that explosives were stored at his home
- Apartment block in the north of Aurora has been evacuated
- Confusion as witnesses thought shooting was part of the film
- FBI are working with the local police and there is no terrorism link so far
A masked gunman shot dead 15 people and wounded 50 others at a suburban US cinema during the screening of the latest Batman movie.
The 6ft tall man, dressed in black and wearing a gas mask opened fire at the showing of The Dark Knight Rises in a mall in Aurora, Colorado and set off a smoke or tear gas bomb.
Witnesses said that the man, thought to be aged 24, burst through the emergency exit at the front of the auditorium, wearing body armour, and began firing into the audience with a rifle and two handguns as he made his way up the stairs, picking his victims at random.
Police now have apprehended a suspect and have recovered a gun after the shooting at approximately 12:30 a.m. CT at the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center in the Denver suburb.
Witnesses said that the man appeared at the front of the theater with a rifle, handgun and gas mask. Witnesses said that he then threw a canister that released some kind of gas, after which a hissing sound ensued. The gunman then opened fire on the crowd packed into the early morning screening of the film, according to people in the theater at the time.
An explosive device was also found inside the theater. Police are unsure of whether the device, which investigators are calling a bomb, was already in place or whether it was thrown into the crowd.
Ambulances rushed to the scene as audience members fled the theater. Aurora’s police chief said that he cannot elaborate on women or children injured or dead in the shooting.
Once apprehended the gunman told authorities that there were explosives in his North Aurora, Colo. residence. Investigators rushed to the apartment complex, which was quickly evacuated and now under lock down.
Though police have said that they believe the shooter was acting alone, they are now taking precautions and checking all cars in the parking lot and clearing near the theater.
There is believed to be no connection to Islamic terrorism, per a senior official monitoring the situation in Washington. Investigators are now interviewing friends and associates of the suspect to get a sense of the man’s background.
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