14 killed in shooting at Colorado theater

Denver: A gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater in the Denver suburbs early Friday morning, killing at least 14 people and wounding dozens of others, the police told reporters in an early morning news conference.

The shooting erupted during midnight showings of “The Dark Night Rises” at the multiplex in Aurora, Colorado, where throngs had gathered, some dressed as characters from the highly anticipated Batman sequel.

Dan Oates, the Aurora police chief, said a 24-year-old suspect had been taken into custody and that a nearby apartment connected to the suspect was being searched for explosives, The Denver Post reported.

Chaos spread quickly through the multiple packed theaters as the gunman, wearing a gas mask, stood in the front of one theater at around 12:30 a.m. local time and began firing at the crowd, The Associated Press reported.

Witnesses described smelling either pepper spray or tear gas in the theater as the gunfire rang out. Colorado television showed several ambulances moving about and dozens of police gathered at the Century 16 movie complex. A police robot could be seen inspecting a white sedan in the parking lot of the movie complex, television images showed, though it was unclear whether the car belonged to the shooter.

Cellphone video taken appeared to show the traumatic scene outside of the large multiplex immediately after the shooting. Some could be seen wandering away with blood stained shirts.

“The most that I saw was a girl pretty much covered in blood and she didn’t have any wounds on her,” a witness who was inside the theater said in an interview shown on CNN’s Web site. “It made me think the worst.” He said that when police arrived they carried a girl out. “She wasn’t moving,” he said.

Victoria Shannon contributed reporting.

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