12 dead in CO movie theater shooting- it's not even safe to go to a movie :(
Updated at 5:59 a.m. ET: At least 14 people were killed early Friday when at least one gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the summer blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises" near Denver, authorities and witnesses said.
Aurora police chief Dan Oates told reporters that 10 people died at the scene of the shooting and four others died after being taken to local hospitals. At least 50 other people were injured, Oates said.
One suspect was in custody, police said.
The incident occurred in the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center, police told NBC News. Aurora is a suburb less than 10 miles east of downtown Denver.
NBC station KUSA cited a witness as seeing a black-clad 6-foot-tall man wearing a riot helmet, goggles and bullet-proof vest. The witness and her boyfriend crawled to the emergency exit, KUSA said.
The suspect was found in possession of a gas mask and two firearms, Oates said. The police chief said there was no evidence of additional shooters.
The suspect made a statement to police about possible explosives at his home, Oates said. An apartment building in north Aurora has been evacuated, Oates said.
Witnesses told reporters that gunfire erupted during a shootout scene.
Brenda Stuart, of 850 KOA radio, told Sky News that "a lot of people thought the gunshots were part of the movie."
'I'm in shock'
Tear gas also went off in the theater, Stuart said. She added that bullets had passed from one theater into an adjoining one.
"It was surreal, it was like a movie," eyewitness Hayden Miller told KUSA.
As he left the theater, Miller said people ran up to him and said "there was a gunman setting off bombs and shooting people. ... He wasn't giving anyone a chance to get out ... It hasn't really hit me. I’m in shock. it’s insane that this can happen in a movie theater where people had gone to have fun."
The Denver Post quoted witness, Bejamin Fernandez, 30, as saying that people ran from the theater as shots rang out.
Fernandez told the Post that he saw people falling, including one young girl.
Salina Jordan, 19, who was in Theater 8, told the Post she saw one girl struck in the cheek and others in the stomach, including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.
Jordan told the Post that someone ran into her theater yelling, "they're shooting out here!" An alarm came on, Jordan said, announcing there was a "murder in [the] theater."
Police officers converge at the scene of a mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., early Friday.
Jordan told the newspaper she saw police carrying bodies out of the theater as well as officers opening fire.
Police spokeswoman Cassidee Carlson said "the scene is still very active."
Local emergency crews from several cities, including Denver and Boulder, have converged on the scene, Stuart told Sky News.
Cathy Canzanora, a 911 dispatcher, told NBC News that emergency dispatchers were deluged with calls from "everybody who had cellphones in the theater" at 12:39 a.m. Friday local time (2:39 a.m. ET).
The dispatcher said she could not reveal what people told her but said that they reported "that there had been a shooting so we got the police and the fire department and the ambulance there as soon as they could."
Police cars transport the wounded
The injured were being transported to three local hospitals, police told NBC.
Nicole Williams, with the Swedish Medical Center of Englewood, Colo., told KUSA-Denver the hospital was alerted to a mass-casualty incident at 1:15 a.m. local time Friday (3:15 a.m. ET).
Kalena Wilkinson, a public information officer for Denver Health, said six patients were taken to that hospital, with one in a critical condition and the other five in " fair" conditions.
KOA's Stuart said that police officers were taking victims to hospitals in their cars and not waiting for ambulances.
A bomb squad was at the scene, police added.
Hundreds of witnesses who have not been injured have been taken to Gateway High School for a debriefing, local media reported.
"The Dark Knight Rises," starring Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, is the latest in the popular Batman action movie franchise. Friday was its international premiere.