Movie Theater Massacre Leaves 12 Dead at 'Dark Knight'

Update: As a response to the fatal shooting, the Los Angeles Times reports that national chain AMC has banned "offensive" costumes, face-covering masks and fake weapons at their theaters. Also, networks have pulled ads for The Dark Knight Rises, both on their own accord and at the request of Warner Bros.

Additionally, The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan has released a statement on the tragedy:

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.

"Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

Original story: A gas mask-wearing man in Aurora, Colorado kicked in an emergency exit at Century Aurora 16 movie theater, threw in a tear gas cannister, and opened fire on a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises Friday morning at 1230am local time, killing 12 (initial reports said 14) and injuring an estimated 59 additional people, according to reports from CNN, the New York Times, and local area news stations. The victims being treated at one area hospital range in age from 3 months to 45 years old. The 3 month old has reportedly been sent home from the hospital in stable condition.

A suspect is reportedly in custody, a local resident born in 1987, identified as James Holmes.

"He did not resist. He did not put up a fight," said Frank Fania, a police spokesman to CNN. The suspect used at least four weapons, an automatic rifle, a shotgun, and two handguns, according to Federal officials.

The suspect's apartment, as reported by Denver's Channel 9 News, is boobytrapped with explosives and flammable materials. Police have evacuated the building and five surrounding buildings while bomb squads attempt to disarm the traps.

No motive is being reported yet, though police have said they do not consider this a politically motivated terrorist act. The action does frighteningly mirror scenes in the film, as the villain Bane leads armed gunmen frequently into crowds of people, even employing the use of gas and smoke grenades. This caused some theater-goers in neighboring rooms to believe it was all part of the show at first. Despite the coincidence, the movie and its content are not being linked to any motive or the shooter in any way other than setting by police and officials.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Warner Bros has canceled the Paris premier of the film and all press interviews as an initial response to the shooting. In New York, NY, the police department is being pledged to movie theaters to provide security, at least for this weekend's showings of the film.

More as the story develops.

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