Gunman Kills 12, Wounds 38 During Midnight Showing of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES [Updated with Statement from Christopher Nolan]

     July 20, 2012

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Last night at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman attacked a theater full of moviegoers.  CNN reports that the shooter tossed a can of tear gas before opening fire on the crowd, killing 12 and wounding 38, according to authorities.  Police quickly arrested a man believed to be the shooter in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN.

After the jump, you can find a statement from President Barack Obama, MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd, and a statement from Warner Bros.  All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones. [Update: Director Christopher Nolan has released an official statement, which is now included after the jump.]

Gunman Kills 14 at Screening of The Dark Knight RisesPresident Obama issued this statement:

“Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”

MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd issued this statement:

“We share the shock and sadness of everyone in the motion picture community at the news of this terrible event. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy.”

Warner Bros. Pictures, which just cancelled the Paris premiere, released the following statement:

“Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

[Images via The LA Times]

The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan:

Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.  The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.

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