Armed with a gas mask, gas, armor, and a machine gun; James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, Colorado was arrested after he entered into an auditorium full of excited Batman fans and opened fire. Police said the gunman appeared in front of the theater and threw a smoke bomb before he opened fire. A federal law enforcement official said that the smoke bomb was described by witnesses as tear gas.
As it is unclear when the gunman got access into the theater, witnesses and law enforcement officials say that he propped the side door of the theatre door opened; leaving the question as to when he did it.
Some moviegoers thought that the thick smoke and gunfire were special effects accompanying the movie. One police officer carried a girl believed to be about 9 with gunshot wounds to her back out of the theater, a witness said. “She wasn’t moving.”
Holmes, who was arrested in the parking lot of the theater, was found with 1 assault rifle, one shotgun, 2 handguns, and tear gas. Law enforcement officers who searched the Holmes’ apartment found “items of interest.”
Initially, police said 14 people died–10 in the theater and 4 at area hospitals, but changed the death toll to 12 later this morning. Of the wounded, at least 20 were being treated at the University of Colorado Hospital, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery. Others are being treated in various health centers in the Colorado area.
The victims being treated there ranged in age from 3 months to 45 the hospital said.
True Star’s prayers go out to the families of the slain and the wounded.
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