At least 12 people were reported killed when a masked gunman opened fire into a packed theater during the premiere of a new Batman film at a suburban cinema in Denver, capital of the U.S. state of Colorado, on Thursday night.
Reports quoting witnesses said the incident coincided with one of the action scenes, when there was a gunfire shooting scene in 'The Dark Knight Rises.'
The gunman "just appeared" at the front of the theater, threw tear gas over the crowd, and opened fire during a midnight screening of the film at the Century 16 cinema complex.
Police said 50 people were injured - some of them critically --in the firing, and hospitals were put on mass casualty alert.
A 24-year-old man dressed all in black wearing a riot helmet, bullet proof vest and goggles was arrested in a car park nearby in possession of a rifle and hand-gun.
FBI sources named the suspect as James Holmes.
Aurora Police chief Dan Oates told reporters that an apartment block in the north of the city had been evacuated after the assailant told police that explosives were stored at his home.
The FBI reportedly ruled out any terrorism link to the incident.
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attack, and said his "thoughts and prayers" were with the victims.
He issued a statement pledging that his "administration will do everything we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time," and that it is "committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice."
by RTT Staff Writer
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