On Friday night, at least 12 people were killed and 58 wounded in a shooting in a southeastern suburb of Denver, Colorado, at a midnight showing of the new Batman film.
Witnesses said a man wearing a gas mask opened fire after tossing a tear gas canister into the auditorium as movie-goers watched the cinema's first screening of The Dark Knight Rises. A 24-year-old former neuroscience student was arrested in a car park outside the theatre in Aurora, Colorado.
A Mr. James Holmes is the alleged shooter whose motives are still unknown, but police say he acted alone. His apartment was booby trapped with trip wires and chemical devices. As a result, the local area was evacuated.
James Holmes is said to have dropped out of medical school, has no connection to the military and nothing but a speeding ticket on his record. As police carefully search his apartment, there are still so many questions left to be answered about what motivated a young man to create such carnage.
During the assault on cinema goers, the shooter used a rifle, shotgun and pistol to injure and kill the innocent viewers. Some died in their seats and dozens were injured as they tried to flee the theatre. There are few laws restricting gun ownership in Colorado, and now it is said that the debate will be reopened on whether such laws are necessary and should be enforced. Local authorities have stated explicitly that all of the weapons and ammunition the alleged perpetrator used in his attack had been obtained legally according to Colorado law.
Pope Benedict has voiced "deep shock" over the attack, and in his weekly radio address, President Obama called for prayer and reflection on the gun rampage in the Denver suburb.