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5:43 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Gunman Kills Moviegoers In Aurora, Colo.

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's get the latest now on news of a shooting at a film premiere in Colorado. It happened at the Century 16 theaters in Aurora, Colorado. The new Batman film, "Dark Knight Rises," was premiering. And in the early hours of this morning someone opened fire.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The police chief there, Dan Oates, says 14 people are dead. That is the count as of now. He also describes dozens of people being wounded. He says one suspect is in custody. It is not clear if a second person is out there to be found. And the police chief, Dan Oates, goes on to say at a news conference the obvious. Most of us, he says, have never experienced anything like this.

We're now going to go to Aurora, Colorado. Isaac J. Ramos is on the line. He's a film student at Regis University, and he was at the premiere in that multiplex theater when the incident happened.

Mr. Ramos, can you hear me?

ISAAC RAMOS: Yeah, I got you.

MONTAGNE: What happened?

RAMOS: We were in the theater and we were watching the movie. It was an action sequence, when all of a sudden we heard a couple of loud bangs. It sounded like fireworks. There was a second set of loud bangs. And we turned around and we kind of saw some of the flashes and we saw some smoke.

At that point some people tried to leave the theater. They returned, said that someone had been shot in the lobby and to try and head towards another exit. At that point the emergency system within the theater came on. We began to leave. As we headed upstairs to the catwalk, we could smell pepper spray and we were all starting to choke.

At that point the police started rushing in, in full gear, and told us to leave the theater. So we ran from the theater. We went outside, which was pretty much chaos outside. There was plenty of officers on the scene starting to - trying to figure out what was going on.

And from there we saw some people who had been shot and been injured. We tried to go to our cars. The officers told us to just leave the area. And as we left we saw a variety of people who were injured. And from there we live close enough to the theater that we actually just walked home at that point.

INSKEEP: So just to understand, this is a multiplex theater. You've got, I guess, 16 screens there, since it's called Century 16. You're in one of the theaters. The shooting takes place somewhere else in that complex. But people can tell inside the theater that something has gone wrong. And that's when everyone started moving about.

RAMOS: Right. We were actually in the theater that was connected to the theater where all the shooting was happening. That was Theater 9 and we were in Theater 8.

INSKEEP: Oh, OK. So you were right next door there. And some people actually saw the shots near where you were? It was at the entrance or something?

RAMOS: You know, we're not exactly sure what we saw. We know we saw some flashes and we heard the bangs. And we also heard a loud rumble as well.

INSKEEP: OK. Well, Mr. Ramos, thanks very much. I really appreciate your insight this morning and glad you're safe.

RAMOS: Thank you very much.

INSKEEP: Isaac J. Ramos is a film student at Regis University and one of the witnesses to a shooting at the Century 16 theaters in Aurora, Colorado.

And just to repeat what we heard from the police chief, Dan Oates, in Aurora, Colorado at a news conference just a little while ago - he gives a count of 14 killed, approximately 50 - 50 people wounded in this shooting, which took place inside the multiplex theater where people were watching a premiere of the new Batman film. We'll continue to cover this story and bring you more as we learn it on NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.