A lone gunman opened fire on a crowd at the premiere of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, killing at least 12 and wounding 50. The suspect allegedly hurled a can of tear gas into the crowd before spraying those gathered in the theater with gunfire. According to reports the gunman, 24-year-old James Holmes fled after the shooting and was apprehended by police in the theater’s parking lot.
This is one of the moments of horror where the rhythms of our own everyday lives are collectively interrupted by the realization man is just as capable of horror as he is of discovery, creation, or monotony. A speech that then Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy gave a day after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr is especially relevant and sums up incidents like this and the reverberations they send through mankind.
Scattered details and information have come out since the shooting in Colorado occurred. Evidently the assailant was wearing a bulletproof or Kevlar vest of some sort as well as a gas mask according to witnesses. Following the shooting, it is reported the suspect 24-year-old James Holmes, a native of San Diego, California, voluntarily surrendered to Police, armed with a handgun and a rifle before revealing that there were explosives both planted in his vehicle and planted in his apartment. No explosives have been reportedly found in his car, but five buildings in the area where Holmes apartment is were supposedly evacuated as police work to disarm a complex set up of explosives.
Meanwhile, media reports say that there were several military members who are among those either wounded or killed in the shooting, though this has not as of this writing been posted on the Department of Defense website nor have the names of those victims or the nature of their injuries been released. One of those casualties who has been identified is Jessica Redfield, a young aspiring television sports reporter and blogger for the sports website ‘Busted Coverage’ who is among the dead. Redfield was supposedly at the theater where the shooting took place at a midnight showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
Across the country there has been an outpouring of grief and condolences shown by the heavy twitter traffic.
In politics, both President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney have decide to suspend campaigning for the day. President Obama cancelled a campaign event in Winters Park, Florida and spoke about the tragedy before a crowd of supporters at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The president is said to be on his way back to the White House to monitor the situation, while Romney canceled a rally in New Hampshire he was scheduled to hold along with the state’s Junior Senator and possible Republican Vice Presidential candidate Kelly Ayote, where he gave a speech reacting the shooting saying ” I come before you today not as a candidate’. Both campaigns will also suspend negative or ‘comparative’ campaign ads in Colorado until at least Monday.
Here are the statements made by both President Obama and Governor Romney .
I can not find video of Governor Romney’s public statement, but when I find it I will post it tonight. Meanwhile, here is a statement that was released by the campaign earlier today:
“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”
UPDATE: (1:29PM/ET)- NBC News is saying that two U.S Air Force Reservists and two Navy service members were among the wounded, reportedly from a nearby air force base.
Eyewitnesses at the theater have also taken to the web to give their accounts and video of the shooting.
Mediate also says Holmes had painted his hair red and said he was ‘the Joker’ the villain played by Heath Ledger in the 2007 film ‘The Dark Knight’, the second film in the Batman trilogy.
More updates later tonight.
UPDATE (10:16PM/ET)- Video of Governor Romney’s remarks on the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.
Its reported now that a total of 12 are dead and 58 are wounded due to the shooting at the Aurora multiplex theater.Of those 58, are said to be in the hospital tonight eleven of who have serious wounds. Allegedly the gunman James Eagan Holmes, a 24-year-old graduate student who was in the process of dropping out of a neuroscience program at the University of Colorado. Over the course of the past sixty days he supposedly purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition and three guns. On him at the time of his arrest was a gas mask, a .12 gauge shotgun, AR-15 assault rifle, and a Glock .40 handgun.
Its being reported that those who knew Holmes describe him as socially awkward, but kind and intelligent even graduating from college with honors. However, his downward spiral began in Spring with poor test scores, his decision to drop out of medical school, and trouble he had trying to find work. Holmes is said to make his first court appearance on Monday and is expected to be charged with this atrocity in the coming days.
Meanwhile ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross is coming under fire from many in the conservative blogosphere. Shortly after the suspects’ name was released, he mentioned on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday morning that the suspect might also be a Jim Holmes who is identified on the website of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots. The tea party member is a 52-year old former Law Enforcement Officer and the Daily Caller reports that ABC News did not try to get in contact with him or any of his family members before they went on air with the accusation. Ross has since apologized via twitter.
And at least after the horrible shooting of Gabrielle Giffords there was at least a few days before the partisan calls for more gun control’ or ‘they are trying to take our guns away’ started bellowing from the mouths of ideologues. Less than twenty-four hours later those from gun control advocates and opponents alike, to opportunistic advocates, and craven politicians such as Texas’s very own stooges Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) have made sure they don’t let a tragedy go to waste when it comes to furthering themselves and their own causes. Regardless of whether what they are seeking is right or not, these people could at least pretend to be considerate, compassionate human beings and put the mud-slinging on hold, while many wounded are grappling to stay alive, countless others are traumatized, and our nation greaves and remembers just how fragile life is.
Update:(1:53am/et)- CBS News says relatives of at least two of those killed have identified their loved ones.
The family of Alex Sullivan issued a statement confirming his death. He died on his 27th birthday.
Twenty-three-year-old Micayla Medek was also among the dead.
Her father’s cousin, Anita Busch, says the sad news at least brought peace to the family.
“Funny, vivacious” reporter, 24, among victims in Colo. shooting
The brother of Jessica Ghawi previously confirmed his sister’s death.