At a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," a gunmen burst into a theater in Colorado through an emergency exit and, after tossing gas cannisters, opened fire into the crowd killing at least 12 and injuring 38.
Police earlier said 14 people were dead, but later revised the number to at least 12. It was not immediately clear for the reason for the revision.
Witness Shayla Roeder said she saw a young teenage girl on the ground bleeding outside the theater.
"She just had this horrible look in her eyes .... We made eye contact and I could tell she was not all right," Roeder said.
Victims are being treated for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman. The shooter was arrested shortly after the attack at 12:30 a.m. MDT at the multiplex theater at a mall in Aurora.
It was the worst mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library.
Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania on ABC's "Good Morning America" said he didn't know yet if all the injuries were gunshot wounds. He said some might have been caused by other things such as shrapnel.
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said.
Officers came running in and telling people to leave the theater, Salina Jordan told the Denver Post. She said some police were carrying and dragging bodies.
Officers later found the gunman near a car behind the theater.
Some witnesses reported that the gunman was wearing a riot helmet, a gas mask, and a bulletproof vest. A few theatergoers thought the attack was part of the show.
It's useless to speculate at this point, but CNN's Piers Morgan appears to be the first lefty out of the box to call for stricter gun control.
CNN host Piers Morgan wasted little time today to use the Colorado theater massacre to call for curbs on Americans' Second Amendment rights. On Twitter this morning, Morgan has so far tweeted three times in regard to the tragedy. Shortly after 6 AM central, Morgan tweeted "Horrendous details from this Colorado cinema shooting. America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time."
About half an hour later, Morgan tweeted: "More Americans will buy guns after this, to defend themselves, and so the dangerous spiral descends. When/how does it stop?"
Twitter users reacted angrily, tweeting to Morgan to keep his opinions to himself.
But Morgan was not finished. Ten minutes later he retreated a bit, tweeting "Lunatics like this will always try and get guns. It should be 100,000 times harder than it is for them to do so. That's my point."
That was not the point of his first two tweets. Not even close.
Bloomberg News wasn't far behind.
By the end of the day, the left will have found a way to blame the shooting on the right -- even without evidence. That's the way these shootings have gone the last couple of years and we can't expect anything different this time.
Update from Thomas Lifson:
As Rick predicted, the Left is busily pinning this on the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh. So far, not known attempt to identify Sarah Palin as the real cause, but then it has only been a few hours.
Joel Pollak of Breitbart called out George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross of ABC for a shameful attempt to identify James Holmes with the Tea Party, and thereby further the media-generated fiction that the Tea Party is nothing but a bunch of dangerous right wing crazies, at the edge of violence.
Stephanolpoulos: I'm going to go to Brian Ross. You've been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.
Ross: There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.
Stephanolpoulos: Okay, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.
How interesting that Ross and ABC News should think to look to the Tea Party website first--and to broadcast politically volatile information without verifying if that "Jim Holmes" is the same as the suspect.
The "Jim Holmes" page on the Colorado Tea Party website is advertising an event with Middle East commentator Brigitte Gabriel next Thursday, July 26--hardly the behavior of a man who expected to be committing a deadly crime on July 20 for which he would certainly be apprehended and might not survive.
Meanwhile, Rush had the gall to discuss the plot of the movie and its use of a villain named Bane right at the moment the Obama campaign was demonizing Bain Capital. That naturally makes him responsible for the attack.
One would think that in the wake of the embarrassment of trying to pin Jared Loughner's insane crime on Sarah Palin, journalists would have learned their lesson. But people like Stephanopoulos and Ross are so consumed by their propagandistic mindset, they cannot resist making fools of themselves.
It is inevitable this will be used to promote gun grabs.