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Colorado Massacre at Midnight Movie Premiere of the Dark Knight Rises: At Least 12 Dead and Over 50 Wounded in Shooting

Updated on July 21, 2012

During a midnight movie theater showing of the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, tragedy strikes as a gunman opens fire on civilians in the crowded theater. The gunman entered through a side door dressed in body armor and was wearing a gas mask. Many people in the theater did not initially feel threatened because they thought it was just a person who was dressing up for the movie showing. This, however, was not the case. The gunman identified as 24 year old James Holmes, threw gas canisters and began shooting people in the Colorado movie shooting. Chaos erupted and people in the Colorado movie theater began to realize that this was no movie prop or someone just dressed up in an outfit. 12 people were found dead and nearly 60 others were wounded in the tragic shooting, authorities said. One of these victims was as young as 6 years old and another was a baby! James Holmes surrendered to the police without resistance.

James Holmes was a studying neuroscience at the University of Denver, Colorado. Holmes enrolled at the University in June,2011, but left a year later for reasons unexplained. He was described as a shy, smart young man. Authorities have not yet released a motive behind the Dark Knight Rises Colorado movie theater shooting.


James Holmes was armed with an AR-15, Remington 870 shotgun, and two 40 caliber pistols. As he opened fire in the theater, everyone panicked and dropped to the ground. It was extremely chaotic and some people actually caught cell phone video footage of the tragic event. One witness said "I thought it was part of the movie, like a fun little prank - that it would be over in a few seconds. It obviously wasn't."

While James Holmes normally would have stuck out like a sore thumb anywhere else, he was not as suspicious looking in the theater considering it was dark and many thought it was just an outfit. This gave him quite the advantage because he had the element of surpise and did not seem suspicious given the circumstances until he began opening fire.

James Holmes has been investigated and the FBI says he is not affiliated with any terrorist group. Apparently, this seems to be an isolated incident. However, many people are scared to go to see the Dark Knight Rises at other theaters out of fear that something like this could happen again. Others feel that this was just an isolated incident and will still go see the Dark Knight Rises.

Police and FBI agents found out that Holmes apartment was booby trapped. They evacuated nearby residents so they could disarm the lethal explosive materials. Oddly enough and fortunately enough, Holmes told the police about the traps at his apartment. Why would he tell them that if he seemed so intent on killing so many innocent lives at the theater?

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Holmes told authorities he was "the Joker," a reference to one of Batman's arch-enemies.

The nature of the attack infers that Holmes planned the shooting in advance, especially considering he was well-armed.

The family of Holmes released a statement saying "Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved.


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