Last night, at a midnight screening of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman reportedly wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot mask opened fire on the audience with four guns, killing 12. (The police originally reported 14 deaths, but that number was revised this morning.) At least 20 people are still being treated at local hospitals. Let us hope the death toll does not rise.
The suspected shooter has been taken into custody and has been identified as a 24-year-old man named James Holmes. No motive has been released. When his mother, who lives in California, was contacted by ABC News, she had not yet been notified by authorities, but "immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved."
"You have the right person," she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. "I need to call the police...I need to fly out to Colorado."Which suggests that, once again, there were red flags about this potentiality. I suspect that we are going to be hearing a lot about how James Holmes is "crazy" today. I want to note, again, that even if he is mentally ill, that does not discharge us of collective responsibility. This, too, does not happen in a void.
I will update this post as/when information becomes available. In the meantime, here are news articles with further details about the shooting and/or related news:
Denver Post: 12 Killed, 50 Wounded at Aurora Movie Theater.
CNN: 12 Dead, 50 Wounded in Shooting at Colorado Theater.
ABC: Aurora 'Dark Knight' Shooting Suspect Identified.
AP: 14 Dead in Colorado Theater Shooting.
The Hill: Obama, Romney Offer Support to Victims of Colorado Shootings.
My sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims. My sympathy and best wishes to those sitting vigil over the wounded.
UPDATE 1: I will also note that the FBI has stated Holmes is not known to be affiliated with any terrorist group, which is quickly turning into, "This isn't terrorism." Holmes is white, and thus in typical fashion is being treated as a "lone gunman," rather than a terrorist, despite having committed a terrorist act.
UPDATE 2: CBS Denver reports that a thirteenth person has died.