Agence France-Presse

Mass shooting at Colorado Batman premiere: Suspect named as local man James Holmes (VIDEO)

A view of fans waiting outside for 'The Dark Knight Rises' Midnight Premiere at Various Locations on July 19, 2012 in New York City.
Credit: Mike Coppola

Police in Colorado say a shooting at a movie theater premiere of the latest Batman film has killed at least 12 people and injured 50 more, the Associated Press reported.

The death toll was originally given as 14, but later revised down. Several people are said to be in critical condition in hospitals in and around Aurora, near Denver, where the shooting took place.

A suspect is in police custody. Officials identified him to NBC News as 24-year-old local man James Holmes.

More from GlobalPost: Eyewitness account: Batman premiere shooting in Colorado

Shots were reported around 30 minutes into a midnight showing of the newly released Batman movie, The Dark Night Rises, the Denver Post said.

Witnesses at the Century 16 movie theater described terrifying scenes. Eyewitness Sharon Segura told GlobalPost: "We get about 10 minutes into the movie and there is this big action scene and there's lots of gunfire. And there is just maybe five or six really loud pops. 

"So I freak out and I jump a little. And my husband laughs at me and I said, 'No, you don't understand, that wasn't part of the movie, that was real. That was way too loud.'"

The AP said the suspect is believed to have kicked in an emergency exit door and thrown some sort of explosive, possibly tear gas, into the darkened theater before opening fire.

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Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN the suspect was wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest when he was apprehended in a rear parking lot of the theater. Fania added, "He did not resist. He did not put up a fight."

He may have been wearing "some sort of Batman costume," Fania told NBC. The spokesman said police are "pretty confident" the shooter acted alone.

Police found at least one rifle and a handgun on the suspect, and recovered another gun from the scene, according to Reuters. The suspect also told officers he had explosives in his home, prompting the evacuation and search of his apartment building.

US President Barack Obama has issued a statement saying he is "shocked and saddened" by the "horrific and tragic" event, reported the AP

Warner Brothers has cancelled the movie's premiere in Paris, which was due to take place tonight with the stars and director in attendance, the Hollywood Reporter said. Meanwhile police in New York said they would increase security at theaters screening the movie, NBC New York reported.

Witnesses have posted cellphone footage of the shooting online: 


See GlobalPost's complete coverage of the Aurora shooting

[View the story "Aurora Colorado theater shooting" on Storify]

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