Twelve people were killed and dozens injured early Friday in a mass shooting at a theater during a premiere showing of the new Batman movie in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo. The suspect, identified as James Holmes, 24, was apprehended outside the theater and was in custody. Holmes wore what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest and riot mask as he opened fire during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Witnesses said the shooter appeared at the front of the theater about 20 minutes into the movie with a rifle and a handgun. He threw a canister that released some kind of gas, and he then opened fire on the crowd.
His apartment building, 5 miles from the theater, was being evacuated and searched for possible explosives, according to Police Chief Dan Oates. Aurora is about 15 miles from Littleton, Colo., where on April 20 1999, two senior students at Columbine High School went on a killing spree which left 12 students and one teacher dead. Other recent mass shootings include: April 2012, a gunman killed seven people at a small Korean Christian college in Oakland, Calif.; April 2009, 14 killed in a murder-suicide in Binghamton, N.Y.; December 2007, nine killed a murder-suicide at the Westroads Mall in Omaha; April 2007, 32 killed and 25 wounded at Virginia Tech University.