Tragedy Strikes – Mass Shooting at ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Screening

12 people are dead and up to 50 were injured during a mass shooting at a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in Aurora, Colorado. I have no words to express my disgust and outrage at this horrific event. (Does this senseless tragedy affect your weekend movie plans? Our post has been updated with a poll.)
[via MSNBC]

Does This Shooting Affect Your Weekend Movie Plans?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


  1. August Lehe

    I’M AFRAID this could be a defining date in entertainment history. There are no words to express my disgust. God help the wounded. I was once an NRA member, then Gabby Giffords was almost assassinated and I quit. Now I find myself agreeing with those I once despised…God help us all.

  2. I cant believe that people can do things like this, this world is so messed up, such a horrible tragedy, its too bad this guy didnt off himself like so many others have after they do things like this, that to me is usually the only good thing that can come out of something like this, that the guy who did it isnt here anymore….this just hurts me every where, terrible and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone there

    • Mike

      I’m glad this is one of the all too rare times where police get the shooter so he can face up to what he’s done.

  3. William Henley

    I feel awful for these people. I mean, seriously, I can’t believe someone would bring a gun to a movie opening. What did the gunman hope to accomplish – to get himself tickets to a sold out show or something?

    I must say, though, that I am still against gun control. If you tighten down on gun control, people are still going to find ways to get them. Just like recreational drugs are illegal in most of the country, but people still seem to have no problem finding ways to get them.

    Anyways, just cannot fathom this event. Just thinking of all the opening shows I have gone to, the excitement of being with other fans, and then trying to wrap my head around if at a single one of these events, someone had of opened fire. It’s just sureal.

    • Josh Zyber

      The shooter had two handguns, an assault rifle and tear gas grenades. He went to that theater with the specific intent of murdering as many people as he could.

      I would rather not have this thread turn into a political debate.

      • Sadly, due to the way the political talking heads have been trying to make comparisons and analogies concerning the themes and characters, and how garbage sites like drudge were hyping that, most people will instantly see this as a chance to make a political statement.

        The bottom line is, the people in the theater watching the film will be fucking scarred. Imagine knowing when watching this at home that at 24.36 (or whenever), that any noise around you you may think someone’s shooting at you. flashbacks. seeing smoke. It’s just really fucked up.

        What’s really interesting will be how this affects box office. On one hand, people who are overly paranoid (like the locals who thought on 9/11 that BAKERSFIELD, CA was next (which, if you know this shithole, is a huge LOL)) who will avoid it, and may they be shamed. However, news that the film is now open is the #1 news, #2 news, #3 news, and #4 news in the country. It’s so much more free publicity than Ledger’s death pre-TDK. If anything, MORE people should see this film right now in support of the situation’s survivors, to make a statement that FUCK YOU, we aren’t going anywhere.

      • William Henley

        I understand. I am still reading and hearing bits of the story. I didn’t know he had an assault rifle and all of that.

        I was about to start several different sentences, then thought better. Whether hand gun or assult riffle, whether it was someone who had a scuffle with someone in a parking lot or someone going out to take out as many people as possible, the fact remains, 12 people are dead. While I am trying to understand why, the motive really seems unimportant right now. The important thing is to grieve at this time.

        • I honestly wish this kind of shit didn’t hit the media in such an explosion. It only shows people that doing this will get you attention, fame. It’s then used to bury all sorts of other news.

          In the information age, we’re facing a lose-lose situation with this sort of violence.

  4. I feel bad for everyone involved but what are you going to do… crazy people do crazy shit. Staying at home this weekend isn’t going to help the situation. If a gunman shot up a grocery store I wouldn’t avoid buying groceries and I won’t skip going to the movies because of one terrible isolated incident.

  5. How long before comic books and videogames take the blame for this incident? I’m guessing it’s already happened in some news outlets.

    Obviously this was a horrible tragedy, but I’m very glad that the gunman didn’t take his own life like so many others. Perhaps we can learn more about this individual and do what we can to try and prevent this from happening again. If not, at least we might find motive.

    And like Nicholas said, one crazy dude isn’t going to prevent me from going to a movie. I could see being a little freaked out if you lived in Colorado though.

    • “Is there a link between ‘Dark Knight’ and the shooting?”

      No, Associated Press, there isn’t. You say as much in the article. And you’re scumbags for capitalizing on a tragedy with a BS news article. It’s double scummy 🙁

      • Jared Chamberlain

        The news media will always vilify films, music, and literature for their content. They capitalize on EPIC acts of douchbaggery such as this to gain ratings, and so many people watch, because tragedy is seen as more interesting than other issues. They stir people up and aren’t really held accountable for it. They’re adding fuel to a fire that’s already burning hot and fast, and I’m pretty sure they get off on it.

      • EM

        “Is there a link between irresponsible media coverage and the shooting?”

        I bet they won’t be discussing that question…

  6. Edwin Hurd

    Wondering how long it will be before entering a movie theater will be as tedious as boarding an airliner…

    My sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the shooting victims; they are all in my thoughts and prayers!

    • EM

      Several years ago, a local movie-theater chain instituted a backpack ban (in a college town that encourages alternate transportation modes like buses and bicycles, mind you, yet the chain encouraged patrons to lock their belongings in their vehicles); an employee actually told me that the rationale was the 9/11 attacks. I felt like saying, “The management is afraid someone is going to hijack the cineplex and crash it into another building?!?”—but I didn’t want to rake a low-level employee over the coals. I figured the real reason for the policy was to combat sneaked-in food and drink; if that was the reason, the management should have been honest about it. (Eventually the local cineplexes changed hands, and the policy disappeared.)

  7. Jason

    This is very reminiscent of an Frank Miller Dark Knight comic from the 80’s in which a lone gunman enters a porn theater and shoots up the place killing some people. but whether or not this is just a coincidence would be speculation at this time.

  8. JM

    In the 1986 comic ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,’ written and drawn by Frank Miller, a crazed gun-toting loner walks into a movie theater and begins shooting it up, killing three in the process. The media blame Batman for inspiring the shooting.

    Aurora, Colorado is statistically under-religious, so maybe the wrath of god will take credit for this one.

    Good thing Romney and Obama announced they’re pulling all their negative ads out of Colorado markets for a limited time. Way to keep it classy.

    ABC, when you scan Tea Party registries for matching names, can you at least try to make sure its the same guy before you broadcast it as news?

    Just three months ago, April 2, 2012, in Oakland, California, was the sixth-deadliest school shooting in US history. One more this year and America will set the Guinness World Record.

    300+ people were killed in Syria yesterday.

    I don’t know what’s worse. The way the news media amplifies human tragedy for corporate profit, or the way Aaron Sorkin will write these death tolls into season two of ‘The Newsroom’?

    • Interesting paragraph. Bullshit paragraph. Bullshit paragraph. Bullshit paragraph. Interesting paragraph. Interesting paragraph. Could go either way paragraph.

      No one else is going political on this shit here.

      I can’t wait for this fuck, who obviously wants his manifesto out there, to be denied. WHY GIVE THEM THE PLEASURE? Hide ’em away and never let a word about ’em leak until he’s dead. It’d be a lesson. He got his 15 minutes.

      • JM

        The ‘Gangster Squad’ trailer was just yanked by WB from all ‘Dark Knight Rises’ showings. At the two-minute mark, a group of armed men enter a crowded movie theater and open fire. The teaser shows those inside the theater panicking and screaming as machine guns are shot.

        AMC Theatres nationwide are banning costumes. The company will also not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons.

        Broadcast and cable channels nationwide have removed advertising for ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’

        “Could the violence yield solidarity? A rare comforting angle to this story: School-shooting tragedies such as those at Columbine and Virginia Tech resulted in solidarity events and marches on campuses across the country. Theaters and filmgoers could turn ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ screenings into shows of support for the victims of the Aurora violence.” – LA Times

    • EM

      There’s always a way to work religion in. This evening when I got off work, I heard a bit of what I surmised was a call-in talk program on a Christian-oriented radio station. The caller was saying that he was using the news as an opportunity to explain some of the unpleasant facts of the world to his daughter. OK, fine. He told her that this is the sort of thing that people who don’t believe in Jesus do. Yes, that’s right: in essence, he told his daughter that all non-Christians are actual or would-be mass murderers or similarly monstrous individuals. Would Jesus preach bigotry and brainwashing? If your answer is no, then obviously you are a non-Christian and therefore a monster too.

      What a world.

        • EM

          As for Chick-fil-A…they keep coming up with reason after reason for me to keep boycotting them. However—once, when a co-worker of mine won a free lunch from them for our small company, I did discover that Chick had a pretty good vegetarian wrap. So, even they are not all bad.

  9. The media always has a field day figuring out the motives of the attacker. Back in 2009, Kim De Gelder entered a child daycare center and stabbed tens of infants, plus a caretaking woman. Three died, the others are probably scarred for life. De Gelder had white paint face and, according to another (surviving) caretaker, his first question was: “I just have one question”. Because he only used a knife, the Belgian media immediately assumed he was influenced by either ‘The Dark Knight’, The Joker or both. They even went as far to proclaim “his last name is an anagram of Ledger!!” That’s just sad journalism. Makes me feel ashamed of my profession.

    May today’s tragedy never be repeated. Courage to the survivors, strength to the families of the victims whose lives are now bruised, battered and ruined.

    • Today’s tragedy will happen again and again now due to the coverage it got. See: Columbine and the swarm that came from that one.

      The media fucking eats this shit up. They encourage it by covering nothing else, basically. EVERYONE knows it will make them infamous. What is the next big movie that will make it even more newsworthy?

      I swear, this shit should be buried like the footage of planes hitting the WTC. give it it’s day, and then never again. But no, this will go on for years. For the firs month, at least every fucking day.

      • How many people actually go on murder sprees because they want to be famous? I would think most were just mentally unstable or thought they were doing it for a purpose.

        This isn’t an argument, by the way, but a legitimate question. I have no idea if this is common thing or not.

        • Just earlier this year with the canadian cannibal/gay porn star/necropheliac/kitten killer dude. not a spree or a mass kill, but mass crime. did it for fame. murder. cannibalism. raped the corpse. terrorized people with the body parts by mail. improperly disposed of a body/littering (tomato, tomatoe). fleeing a country to avoid prosecution/arrest. so on so forth, and even had talked about the perfect plan to disappear from the world, i.e. after the crime. he’s the perfect example, and look at the news that fuck got.

          I do not personally believe it’s a coincidence that media coverage is increased on violent tragedies and that there’s, in turn, more of them.

  10. I read about this having just come out of the movie at 3am this morning. I hope that the victims and their families can overcome this heinous act of sadistic lunacy.

    A few years ago, they made shakedowns mandatory for attending NBA games, and I can see s similar approach for future big midnight premiers.

  11. This applies to today’s bullshit, Octomom porn, and any porn star turned celebutante:

    To stop those monsters 1-2-3,
    Here’s a fresh new way that’s trouble-free,
    It’s got Paul Anka’s guarantee…
    Guarantee void in Tennessee.
    Just don’t look! Just don’t look!
    Just don’t look! Just don’t look!
    Just don’t look! Just don’t look!

  12. Barsoom Bob

    For what it’s worth it was NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly who drop that comment on the shooter’s hair being dyed red and saying “I’m the Joker” to police officers arresting him. At Kelly’s mid day news conference he revealed he had worked with the Aurora police chief here in NY and had just had a phone conversation with him before the press conference.

    Subsequent news reports have the shooter guy heavily outfited in body armor, a gas mask and a long black coat. NYC had 16 shootings over the 4th of July week, including a 3 year old boy who was just playing in a sprinkler. Sad day for all.

  13. Jon D

    Searching movie patrons wouldn’t have done anything in this occasion. The killer entered through an emergency exit that he had propped open.

    Anders Brevik did what he did in order to gain a platform for his insanity. It’s likely this guy did the same, given that he quietly surrendered to police. Most of the real psychos take their own lives during their rampages.

    Anybody heard from Jack Thompson yet? I’m sure he’ll have some nice legitimate opinions on how Grand Theft Auto caused this massacre.

    • EXACTLY. This fits the Underpants Gnomes mentality. Step 1: Action. Step 2: ?. Step 3: Profit. These people, wannabe Joker and island retreat killer, their step 1 is to get attention to their “cause” by creating carnage in an overly sensitized world that wants to act as though it has moved past violence (hence why it’s always such big fucking news each and every time it happens). This fucker wants to say something, and I bet in his apartment, once they realize he set up an elaborate fucking fraud to stall and keep himself in the news, 3-6 days later we’ll see a manifesto.

      Dude bought his weapons in May, June, July. Legally. It is apparent his actions have been planned for months due to them being in rapid succession, and there is no news about him owning other firearms (which is important in proving motive in buying said guns). It’s possible he used a weapon he hates to make a message and try to get them further restricted. It’s possible he had some political agenda and wanted to get his idiotic rantings read by more people. Who’d read shit from him before, and NOW who would read shit from him?

      • (continued, system thought i was spam with big post)

        This was his Ray J sex tape. I repeat this analogy with a reason. We haven’t heard the last of this guy. More shit will come out, it is fucking guaranteed.

        Notes: If his apartment were REALLY rigged to explode or release chemicals, why would he admit it to the cops when he was arrested? Think about that. Aside from spreading panic, it’s contradictory to his actions. He’s already killed 12 people, with the possibility of it being more. Why not NOT say anything and TRY to kill first responders? Why did the music in his room, that was on a LOUD loop, suddenly end at 1.00am (shooting 12.39am)? Was anyone still in there? Was it on a timer?

        This fuck went and played call of duty in the real world. COPS, FUCKING KILL HIM (in front of his dad who’s now in Aurora) AND LETS MOVE ON.

  14. Scott Hunvald

    I live in Colorado, and heard about it this morning when I woke up. Fucking chilling to hear about. What pissed me off is when the news reported that the mom, who lives in San Diego had known it was her son who had committed the crime once she heard it on the news, supposedly before they reported his name. What fuck is she doing, she could have tried to get her son help or something. And then I heard one of the hurt was a 3 month old baby, who thankfully survived and was sent home with his or her parents. Seriously your taking a 3 month old to a batman movie. Really, wow what an idiot. Thoughts and prayers go out to those hurt and the families of the fallen.

    • EM

      Generally, I don’t approve of taking infants to public film screenings (major exception: sometimes theaters host screenings specifically for families with infants and toddlers, but I doubt that’s relevant here). However, I’m not going to crucify the parents in this instance as irresponsible, at least not without additional facts. The parents should know their kid, and they might have very good reason to believe the child would sleep right through the whole film or otherwise remain quite silent and docile. And they may have seated themselves right by an exit in case the kid did start making a disturbance (though obviously they didn’t get out in time when the really big disturbance occurred 🙁 ). As for age appropriateness of the film’s content, I think the child’s cognition is probably not yet developed enough for that to make a difference. Then again, maybe the parents did act irresponsibly. But frankly, that’s a distraction from the real issue of culpability in this monstrous incident.

    • The mother quote may be misattributed or taken out of context.

      Imagine someone asking a leading question “Are you the mother of a James Holmes who goes to school in Aurora, CO?” “Yes, you got the right one.”

      I’d not say that quote was damning. It’s all context, and the media wants to make this a bigger story so BLAM, let’s say even his mother says he’s a fucking nut bag. Half quotes taken out of context are somewhat routine, so I ignore them.

  15. The victims of this tragedy are in my thoughts.
    And not to sound insensitive here – but every time something like this happens all the anti gun people come out of the woodwork and cry more more laws. Once the dust settles though, we usually find out that existing laws were not enforced and thus the incident would not have happened. And while we’re on the subject, would this gunman have entered this theater if people were allowed to carry concealed weapons to the show?

    • Josh Zyber

      The shooter wore a bullet-proof vest to the theater. He was prepared, or thought he was, for other people (such as police) to shoot at him. He would not have been deterred by anyone else carrying a gun. He wanted people to shoot at him.

      The incident started when he exploded tear gas grenades in the theater. Had other patrons been armed, all that would have resulted in was frantic and confused crossfire that would have claimed even more lives.

      • William Henley

        Was he wearing a helmet? One headshot could take him down. Bullet proof vests do not keep you from getting killed or wounded, they help protect you during crossfire. A well aimed shot can take you down. This is why police in riot gears also have shields and helmets.

        • Josh Zyber

          Come on, William. It was a crowded theater filled with tear gas and people running and screaming everywhere. Do you really expect some yahoo carrying a .38 in compensation for his tiny dick to get off an accurate head shot with sniper-like precision?

          If anyone else in that theater had been armed and opened fire, more people would be dead right now. That’s the sad truth.

          • William Henley

            I was offering an opposing argument, not saying that I support carrying concealed weapons in public.

            The point I was going for, though, was that a bullet proof vest doesn’t make one invincible.

          • Josh Zyber

            You’re correct that a bulletproof vest does not make one invincible. But you forget that this guy was batshit crazy, and probably THOUGHT that it made him invincible. He would not have been deterred by the fear of other people in the theater carrying guns. He would have welcomed being shot at. I’m sure it was his hope to get taken down by cops in a hail of bullets and die a martyr for his demented cause.

            In this situation, more guns would only have caused more carnage. Every jackass with a handgun wants to be a big hero. That’s both incredibly naive and incredibly dangerous.

          • William Henley

            Eh, maybe. I got many gun-toting friends, their reasoning is “if you know I am packing heat, you won’t miss with me”. I don’t know if I agree with those lines – I am kinda with you – if the person is crazy, it doesn’t really make much difference.

            I really don’t want to go into the whole concealed handgun thing, and don’t want to be dragged into that argument, mainly because I really don’t have a firm stand on it.

            BTW, it does like from the animations I have seen that he DID have a helmet and face shield.

          • EM

            My understanding is that he was wearing a gas mask, evidently to counteract the effects of the tear gas he deployed. That might resemble a helmet and face shield.