One gunman and one crowded theater. At least 12 dead and dozens injured, several seriously. For the premiere of a movie that earned a PG-13 rating despite what more than one reviewer has called its "incredible violence."
Americans awoke Friday morning to live news coming from Aurora, Colo., where a young gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest allegedly opened fire during a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
The movie expected to gross $200 million this weekend. It is playing locally at the Rohnert Park Stadium 16.
At this point, 12 dead and 50 wounded are the number of casualties being reported. As information become available the figures could change up or down. But no matter what the final numbers are, there is one definitive: It's a tragedy.
The Friday morning massacre at the Century 16 in Aurora took place 15 miles and 13 years from Columbine High, where 12 students and one adult were killed by two high school seniors on April 20, 1999.
At the theater, the suspect is identified as James Holmes, 24, of San Diego. He was a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Medical School campus in Aurora.
In the movie theater last night, he had two handguns, a shotgun and an assault rifle, according to press reports.
It’s the kind of tragedy that can open up wounds in every region in America. The incident Friday morning is likely to start at least one discussion, and probably several of them.
Should metal detectors become as standard as popcorn machines at movie theaters?
Should gun control laws be revisited?
Should the influence of movie violence be examined?
Will there be no more dress-up at movie theaters, which apparently allowed the Aurora gunman to enter with a handgun, a rifle, a gas canister and a gas mask?
We've listed several of these in the poll below, but you can use the comments to weigh in on the big question: What do you think is the biggest issue in this latest tragedy?