The details have been coming in quickly since it happened, so some of the details I use in this article may change. But reports are during the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century Aurora 16 theater, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and a riot or gas mask kicked in one of the exit doors and stepped inside while the movie was running.
After walking in, he tossed two tear gas canisters into an audience who didn’t know if what was happening was real or a stunt. They figured out the situation quickly after the canisters exploded and the man opened fire on the audience, shooting people at random as he walked along the rows of the theater.
“He looked so calm when he did it, it was so scary,” one witness said.
One witness said the shooter was armed with two guns and was shooting at anyone he could. People in the theater next door heard the shootings but thought it was a part of the movie. That is, until bullets started coming through the walls.
“It was frantic. Everybody trying to fend for themselves. People were getting stepped on, getting pushed. Everybody was going after one door,” another witness said.
The unidentified man, described as being in his 20s, was apprehended after police found him hiding in the theater’s rear parking lot with a gas mask, rifle, handgun and another weapon.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said 10 people died at the theater and four died at area hospitals. At least 24 people were being treated at hospitals for gunshot wound or tear-gas contamination. The youngest, surviving victim is reportedly 6-years-old.
I can’t be the only person who has sat in a theater and imagined this exact scenario happening and wondered what you might do if it happened. I would hope I would be brave and heroic, but I have a suspicion that if someone were to start shooting up a crowded theater I was sitting in, Surviving witnesses would describe seeing a guy chucking kids at the gunman as he ran to the nearest exit, trampling people along the way.Tags: Batman, Century 16, Colorado, Crime, Murder, Shooting, theater