AP Photo/The Denver Post, Karl Gehring
What should have been a fun evening at the movies turned into tragedy last night at a cinema outside of Denver, Colorado. Just a few moments into the premeire of Dark Knight Rises, a 24 year-old burst through the emergency exit, unpinned a tear gas cannister, and proceeded to open fire on the confused crowd.
All in all, 12 lives were lost, and nearly 60 others sustained injury after the gunman paraded up the aisles, unloading several rounds, seemingly at random into the crowd. Several people were shot in the back as they attempted to flee, and some victims were as young as 3 months old.
The suspect, who used 4 firearms in the fatal shootings, had also booby-trapped his own apartment with some sort of homemade explosive and incindiary devices. He was apprehended in full riot gear in the theatre's parking lot, withour incident, but made a remark that he was "The Joker," refrencing the villian from the previous Batman film.
This act of cowardice came from the actions of a young man, a University of Colorado medical student pursuing his Ph.D., with no prior criminal record. However, this was clearly a troubled person, as his own mother had suspicion of her son's involvement. Upon being confronted by police, she claimed that "you have the right person."
While we certainly do not know the motives for this outburst, questions needs to be asked: What could have been done to prevent the victims actions? What signs of trouble were overlooked?
While these questions are pondered, thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims of this tragic and senseless tragedy.