Tragedy struck the town of Aurora, Colorado early this morning, as a gunman opened fire at a movie theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
At the moment, 12 people are confirmed dead and 71 wounded as a result of the incident.
According to various witness accounts and police reports, the suspect tossed some kind of smoke bomb into the theater and opened fire in front of the screen. He was reportedly wearing a gas mask and a bullet proof vest and carrying at least a rifle and a handgun.
The unidentified, alleged murderer is in his early 20s, a police spokesman says, and did not put up a fight when apprehended.*
“We will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family,” said President Obama in a statement, adding:
“All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come,” said Obama, promising he would do everything in his power to bring those responsible to justice.
“We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."
Aurora is a Denver suburb and is approximately 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado, the site of the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999.
*UPDATE: The suspect has been identified as a 24-year old named James Holmes.