Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora the scene of a bloodbath
Twelve people were fatally gunned down inside the Century 16 Movie Theater as the shooter used tear gas to create disorientation and flight by the audience to exit doors. Many more were wounded. Dressed in riot gear the, very familiar with the floor plan of the movies theater, and heavily armed, the gunman waited at the back of the theater before throwing tear gas grenades. He then moved down the aisles toward an exit from his position near the screen. He then waited for the fleeing and coughing movie goers to move toward the exits. At point blank range he opened fire upon the unfortunate audience. According to reports even an infant was shot!
The shooting scene
James Holmes, a 24 year old, conducted a cold blooded, premeditated, mass shooting. As moviegoers settled into their chairs at a midnight feature of the “The Dark Night Rises” a choking cloud of tear gas suddenly assaults the lungs and eyes of the customers within theater 9 of the 16 theater complex. After tossing the gas canisters, and Holmes, enters from an exit door with a mask and a flak jacket, some of the audience thought that they were witnessing a promotional stunt related to the movie.
50 people were shot in the midst of the chaotic confusion. Twelve are confirmed dead. Ten bodies remain in the theater as police conduct a forensic investigation. Witnesses say that the shooting went on for at least 15 minutes. At least 3 children are said to have been shot. One child, a 3 month old, was treated and released. Witnesses say they first saw a 14 year old teenaged girl struck in the legs, stomach, and chest emerge from theater 9 as the first shots began striking stunned members of the midnight show.
Police apprehended the shooter, who was sitting by his car and offering no resistance. His Hyundai car had Tennessee license plates. 24 year old James Holmes told police that there were explosives in his apartment which was located a short distance from the theater. Police entered the shooter’s second story apartment using a ladder truck to avoid booby traps at the front door, but supposedly found no bombs. A background check shows only a traffic violation on the killer's background check, no known pattern of violent behavior seems evident. James Holmes used an automatic weapon and was also armed with a shotgun along with a couple of hand guns. A third weapon was found by police in the theater apparently hidden there prior to the shooting.
As the shooting continued there was a quick response from Aurora police as some were already there working crowd control. So many shooting victims were pouring out of the theater that even police cars were being used to transport the wounded to nearby hospitals. It is said that 3 area hospitals were admitting patients who had been shot at the theater, one of them was a children’s hospital. Witnesses said that this thing never happens in Aurora that the town is a peaceful place. Aurora is what is known as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants and located near a military base. Aurora is ironically located approximately 15 miles from Littleton where, Columbine, the scene of the infamous high school shooting occurred in 1999.
One girl, interviewed who was right there in the theater where the shooting occurred said that a tall well built man from six foot to 6 foot 3 inches tall began tossing tear gas grenades into the theater. As the stinging cloud of gas emerged some there thought the incident was a hoax until the gunman began firing into the ceiling and than into the crowd of fleeing moviegoers. She said at one point the gunman had pointed his weapon directly into her face at which point she dived into the aisle and balled up into a fetal position as the confusion raged around her. She was unhurt.
Colorado has a history of recent shootings in various areas, the latest being a 2007 incident that occurred at a Christian evangelical training facility where 4 people were shot to death by a gunman. There have also been recent incidents of shootings from Massachusetts to Alabama at public movies, and even a stabbing in other US cities in recent years, but nothing on the scale of what happened in Aurora.
Injuries have ranged from being hit in their extremities according to an emergency room official to shrapnel wounds though police claim there were no explosives used in the shooting. One witness interviewed on Fox news however said that he had seen one young woman vomiting blood, another victim was crawling on her hands and knees away from the blood bath and had been hit in the back and legs. Police said that apparently a large caliber of bullet was being used judging by the wounds suffered by the victims.
No one knows if this shooter had a grudge against someone in the theater, had mental problems, had an accomplice, though the police have ruled out terrorism as a motive. One thing is clear. The gunman had intimate knowledge of the theater and had access to the projector room. Was he a former employee? No one knows. It is, of course, time to worry about the victims and how to assist them in their intense grief and shock.
Are there darker implications in all this?
There has been a wave of recent shootings in public areas such as bars, movie theaters, and even restaurants in America as well as even Canada. Could there be an ominous method to the madness. We know that the Fast and Furious scandal was a ploy by AG Eric Holder and President Obama as a case for gun control. We know that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been a proponent of UN sanctioned gun control. There is now a bill before Congress and the Senate that could possibly place the jurisdiction of gun regulation under the aegis of the United Nations. Is there a connection between these senseless shootings that have been occurring all over the country? The timing does seem to be conspicuously coincidental.
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Sherman, Texas, United States