A midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises exploded in gunfire before ending in disaster.
Opening weekend for the highly anticipated Dark Knight Rises has been marred by tragedy as 12 people were shot dead and 59 others were wounded after a gunman went on a rampage early this morning at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. ABC News reports that a three-month old baby was among the victims.
According to witnesses, shooting broke out in one theater after a smoke bomb and fireworks went off about 20 minutes into the film, starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman.
Authorities suspect former University of Colorado medical student James Holmes was the gunman. The Associated Press reports that James, who was carrying three guns including an assault rifle, is believed to have been acting alone. Witnesses said that he was picking off theater patrons in a very calculated manner.
"He said he was the Joker, enemy of Batman," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters. "He had his hair painted red."
Police took the suspect into custody when he was found 10 miles east of Denver, shortly after the shooting. Authorities were also stationed at James’ apartment.
Following the massacre, Warner Bros. quickly shuttered plans for the Paris premiere.
"Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident," the studio said in a statement. "We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."
The Dark Knight Rises has earned $30.6 million from its midnight opening.