Gunman kills 14 at midnight showing of Batman premiere

Terrible news. About 12:30 mountain time this morning, a man dressed in black, wearing a helmet, gas mask and goggles entered a movie theater and began shooting.

Fourteen people are dead and 50 others wounded after a gunman in a suburb outside Denver opened fire during a midnight showing of the Batman movie the “Dark Knight Rises,” the police chief said at a press conference.

The suspect is in custody, Aurora police chief Daniel J. Oates told reporters. “This is a horrific event,” Aurora police chief Daniel J. Oates said during a press conference carried live by local TV stations.

Oates said 10 people were found dead in the theater, and four died at local hospitals.

Denver’s NBC affiliate, 9News, reported that the gunman entered the movie theater minutes after the movie began, released a canister, and witnesses heard a hissing sound and saw smoke. The suspect now in custody was found outside the theater holding a rifle and a handgun.

My mother grew up in Littleton, where the Columbine shooting occurred. Aurora is about 20 miles from there. I remember it well, it’s where some of my wingnut uncles and cousins still live. I don’t know if it helps to hope that the killer was a random looney and not a right-wing ass, but that’s what I’m going with.

Add: The President released a statement.

Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. 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.

Add: Though the wingnuts swore the shooter was an Iranian immigrant named Mohammad Alam, he’s actually James Holmes. He lives in Aurora, Colorado.