At least 12 dead; police have suspect in custody
A gunman opened fire early Friday at a suburban Denver movie theater on the opening night of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities tell the Associated Press.
The gunman, who is in custody, fired into the crowd in one of the three theaters playing the movie at the time at about 12:30 a.m. The theater is a multiplex located in a mall in Aurora, about 10 miles outside Denver.
"Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference, as reported by AP.
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said.
Officers found the gunman near a car behind the theater.
"A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon (were) found inside,"Oates said.
The suspect was taken into custody, but has not yet been identified. At this point, there's no evidence of any other attackers, according to police. There was also no immediate word of any motive.
Police are also exploring the suspect's claims that there may be explosives inside his residence, an apartment in an Aurora apartment building. The building has been evacuated.
Witnesses seeing the movie in adjacent theaters at first thought the shots were part of another, louder movie being played next door, AP reports.
Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish Medical Center, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said. Emergency crews told her staff to prepare for several more patients from the shooting scene.
The youngest victim reported was a 6-year-old being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were taken. Their condition wasn't known.