Theater Shooting Adds To List Of Violent Colorado Incidents

Jul 20, 2012
Originally published on July 20, 2012 4:26 pm

The shooting spree that killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens more at a movie theater in a Denver suburb Friday is one of a number of violent episodes in Colorado in recent years.

The rampage, at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in the city of Aurora, was the state's worst mass shooting since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, just outside Denver. Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold methodically gunned down a dozen classmates and a teacher and wounded about two dozen others before killing themselves.

In 2006, an armed man who claimed to be carrying a bomb entered Platte Canyon High School in the Denver suburb of Bailey and took six female students hostage. Duane Morrison, 53, sexually assaulted at least some of the hostages before releasing four of them. When police raided the second-floor classroom where he had holed up, Morrison shot and killed the remaining hostage before committing suicide. The sixth hostage escaped.

A year later, a 24-year-old man named Matthew Murray shot and killed four people in a rampage in two different cities. Murray, armed with assault rifles and a pistol, opened fire at the Youth With a Mission missionary training center in Arvada, near Denver, and 12 hours later attacked a New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where he had been a congregant. He was shot and wounded by a security guard before taking his own life.

Last year, Earl Albert Moore placed a pipe bomb and two propane tanks at the Southwest Plaza mall in Littleton on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. He set fire to a hallway, but the bomb failed to detonate in what authorities described as an act of domestic terrorism. Moore, who was 65 at the time, was sentenced to life in prison.

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