Aurora, Colo., Mayor: 'It Is An Absolute Horror'

Originally published on July 20, 2012 6:56 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Twenty-four years old and a graduate student in neuroscience, although he was pulling out of school - that is some of what we know about James Holmes. He is in police custody in Aurora, Colorado after allegedly opening fire at a sold-out midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises," the new Batman film.

Twelve people were killed at the mall movie theater. Police say 59 more were injured, many remain in critical condition.

CORNISH: Eyewitnesses say shortly after the movie began, the gunman entered theater 9, threw off some sort of smoke device and began firing. Police audio captured some of the frantic rescue efforts that followed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We need rescue inside the auditorium, multiple victims. (Unintelligible) we got seven down in theater nine, seven down.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Copy, we'll notify fire, seven down in theater nine.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I've got a shot victim. I need rescue at the back door of theater nine now.

SIEGEL: At a news conference, Aurora police chief Daniel Oates said the suspect surrendered to authorities outside, behind the theater near his car. He was dressed all in black.

DANIEL OATES: He was wearing a ballistic helmet, a tactical ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector and a groin protector and a gas mask and black tactical gloves.

SIEGEL: Oates went on to describe the weapons they believe Holmes used in the attack.

OATES: An AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington H70 shotgun, 12-gauge shotgun, and a 40 caliber Glock handgun. We believe those three weapons were used in the scene and another 40 caliber Glock handgun was found in the car. We're not sure if that was also used in the scene.

SIEGEL: And the police chief added that while it is currently impossible to calculate how much ammunition was used, there were many rounds fired. He would not speculate on a motive, but he said he is confident the gunman acted alone.

CORNISH: The mayor of Aurora, Steve Hogan, called today a tragic day.

MAYOR STEVE HOGAN: But as tragic as it is for the community and the city, it is an absolute horror for all of those people who were in those theaters and their families. Our hearts go out to them. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.