i-Witness 1 ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Shooting [CBS Denver]
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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A terrifying shooting at an Aurora movie theater overnight left 13 people dead and about 38 people hurt.
The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Town Center in Aurora at the Century 16 theater on East Alameda Avenue. Reports first came in that there were explosions in the theater showing the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Shots then rang out, and a frantic scene followed.
Police said a gunman with a gas mask on and dressed in black shot and killed dozens and dozens of people. Authorities say the suspect, James Holmes, 24, killed 10 people inside the theater complex and that three others died after they were taken from the scene. A three-month-old was among the dozens who were hurt, but the baby was treated and released from the hospital.
“Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,” Chief Dan Oates said.
Officials at The Medical Center of Aurora confirmed that some of their patients had to be treated for chemical exposure. They went through that hospital’s decontamination process and were released.
The midnight showing of the movie had just started when the violence began. Donovan Tate and his girlfriend escaped from the packed theater.
“There was this one guy on all fours crawling. There was this girl spitting up blood. There were bullet holes in some people’s backs, in some people’s arms. There was one guy who was just stripped down to his boxers. It looked like he had been shot in the back or something,” Tate told CBS4.
Aurora police said victims have been taken to six different hospitals, with 23 going to University of Colorado Hospital and 15 to The Medical Center of Aurora. They wrote in a news release that “many were rushed immediately to hospitals in police cars by responding officers. The injured and dead include a wide age range.”
University of Colorado Hospital spokeswoman Comilla Sasson said nine people were critical condition in their emergency room.
“At 1 a.m. we received notice that there had been a shooting in the area and then at about 1:15 a.m. we started having patients pouring in via police cars, ambulances private car,” Sasson said. “Then we activated our disaster protocol. So we had folks from all parts of the hospital coming in to help us, coming in specifically for this tragedy.”
The Medical Center of Aurora took in 15 patients after the shooting, 12 of whom had gunshot wounds. Those people ranged in age from 17 to 31. Six patients were taken to Denver Health Medical Center and three of those patients were treated and released.
Holmes was recently a graduate student at the medical school at the University of Colorado and withdrew in June.