At least 12 people were killed and around 50 injured after a masked man opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado screening of The Dark Knight Rises earlier today. The incident is believed to have been preceded by the use of a gas grenade.
The shooter, believed to be 24 year old James Holmes, is now in custody. His claims to have positioned explosives in nearby buildings, including a block of flats and a shopping mall, are still being investigated. His motive is not yet known but he is not thought to be connected with any known terrorist organisation.
Several children were among the injured, with the youngest victim, who was deliberately shot in the back, just three months old. Witnesses outside the cinema initially thought that the sound of gunshots and screaming was coming from a film.
President Obama has cut short campaigning in Florida to respond to the incident, saying he is shocked and saddened by what has occurred. “We may never understand what leads anybody to terrorise their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason," he told reporters. He pledged that his administration will do all it can to support those affected.
The Dark Knight Rises deals with themes of civil unrest and the promotion of chaos. Its Paris premiere has now been cancelled in recognition of the tragedy.