Friday, July 20, 2012

Worst Mass Shooting in US History

The shooting at Century 16 Theaters in Aurora, Colorado, is being called the worst mass shooting in US history. Police were not willing to discuss many of the questions which the press had for them, at the press conference this morning. They have asked the press and public to be wary of rumors. In at least one case someone pretended to be Police Chief Oates, in an attempt to spread false information. Another press conference is scheduled for 7pm MDT. Here's what we do know.

Around 12:30 am a gunman, who was in full body armor and a gas mask, managed to enter through an emergency exit of theater nine. He threw two or more devices which released gas and smoke, and then opened fire with an AR15 rifle, firing multiple magazines until it jammed. When that occurred, the gunman switched to a 12 gauge shotgun and a .40 caliber handgun, emptying both of those. After which he left through the door, stood by his car and awaited police.

Witnesses mostly describe the shooter as calm. When he left he strolled out, no running, no talking, just silent and steady. His firing was not aimed at any single person or group, it was just aimed to do the most damage possible. Several of his shots did actually go through a wall, into the theater next door.

Seventy-one people had been shot, ten of which died at the scene, two more at hospitals. Victims were taken to five different Aurora hospitals and one in Parker.

At 12:39 am Aurora police began receiving what Chief Dan Oates described as hundreds of calls. Officers were on the scene within ninety seconds, and found the shooter by his car, who identified himself as the shooter, told them where he lived, and then warned them his place was booby trapped. Police found another .40 caliber handgun, in his' vehicle, as well as more ammunition for the other weapons.

Authorities at his apartment evacuated several other buildings in the neighborhood, and are planning a way into room, which they say is wired with incendiary and chemical explosives. It might be days until they get into his place.

Names of the dead are not being put out at this time, however the family of one of the victims did say she was amongst the dead. Jessica Ghawi, who was an intern working towards sports broadcasting, had escaped a shooting in a Toronto mall last month. Her family asks that people remember her smile.

The shooting has brought back memories of Columbine, to many in the Denver metro. The two locations are separated by about fifteen miles.

Police departments in cities across the US are beefing up security for all further events this weekend. President Obama has declared that all flags should be flown at half mask, until July 25.

(This article was edited to remove any mention of the shooter's name.)

Deadly Shooting in Aurora

Twelve people were killed Thursday night at Century theater by the Aurora mall, in Colorado.

People were massed to see the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

A gunman gained entrance to screen nine, through an emergency exit.

He then threw in tear gas, and possibly flash bangs, before opening fire into the crowded theater.

After firing sixty rounds, he calmly left the building, and stood by his car til he was arrested.
Victims were taken to five Aurora hospitals, as well as Parker Adventist.

Sixteen are listed in critical condition, at this time.

The gunman's apartment was found to be booby trapped, and local and federal officials are attempting to defuse explosives before entering.

Several buildings around his apartment building have been evacuated as a precaution.

We are live at the press conference, and will have updates for you as they come.