Moviegoers 'Shocked' by Colorado Theater Shooting

An armed gunman raided a movie theater in Colorado during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," killing at least 12 people and wounding many more.

Though it happened several states over — in Colorado — the news of at least 12 people dead and dozens of people injured during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," really hit home for some Milwaukee area residents.

"It's scary. I know people that went to the midnight show here and if I was able to I would have gone to one," Stephen Milek posted on the Greendale Patch Facebook page. "What should have been an exciting weekend for movie fans is now overshadowed by this senseless tragedy. "

Lisa Miller wrote on the Greenfield Patch Facebook page that she would actually be hesitant to hit the theaters after hearing the news.

"Tragedy can strike anywhere, any time, and no one is immune," Miller wrote. "We can't allow that fact to prevent us from living life.That being said ... in honesty I would be hesitant to see the movie itself in theaters, out of fear of copycat syndrome."

Police have identified the armed gunman who raided the midnight showing as 24-year-old James Holmes of Aurora, the city in which the shooting took place, according to an article on Mercurynews.com.

Fox6news.com reports 59 people were injured, one of those being a 3-month-old infant.

News of the tragedy quickly spread across the nation on Friday.

"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time," President Barack Obama said in a press release. " As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family."

Obama also issued a statement calling for flags to be flown at half-mass through July 25 to honor the victims.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney also issued a statement after the tragedy.

"Our hearts break for the victims and their families. We pray that the wounded will recover and that those that re grieving will feel the nearness of God," he said. "This morning Colorado lost youthful voices which would have brightened their homes, enriched their schools and brought joy to the families."

'Shocking,' 'Crazy,' 'Disgusting'

But even with the reach of this tragic event, not everyone had heard of the shooting by Friday afternoon.

At the in Waukesha, one young woman was shocked to learn about the tragedy while one man just shook his head and called the gunman "crazy."

Three Milwaukee residents knew about the shooting but it didn’t stop them from attending The Dark Knight Rises.

"These type of things happen," Rick Lopez said.

Joining Lopez at the theater were Lorenzo and Marcelino Guerrero. Lorenzo Guerrero described the incident as "disgusting," while Marcelino Guerrero said he was "shocked, surprised" but that he wasn’t too concerned about being at the theater.

"Still, I had thoughts about it," Marcelino Guerrero said.

A Friday night Paris premiere of the movie has been canceled, according to the Associated Press.

But here, the show goes on

Despite the cancellation in Paris, Marcus Theatres said its shows will go on. Here is an official statement from the company:

“We are saddened by the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, this morning.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, the associates at the Century Theater and the Aurora community.

These senseless, random acts of violence, by disturbed individuals, can happen anywhere, but had never occurred in a U.S. movie theatre in its 110-year history. Safety and security of our guests and associates is always a priority concern. We will take appropriate measures to have our security precautions in place today and every day.

All showings of “Dark Knight Rises” and all other motion pictures at all Marcus Theatres will go on as scheduled.”

Blake Stehoviach showed up to South Shore Cinema in Oak Creek about a half hour before the 1:30 p.m. screening of the Dark Knight Rises, wearing his black Batman shirt and Batman hat.

He couldn’t believe when he heard the news this morning and said it even gave him pause about going today, but it wasn’t going to stop him. He’s a Batman die-hard and has seen every on-screen adaptation, even the original depictions in the 1940s.

"It actually made me kind of nervous thinking about it, but I thought, 'It’s probably just an isolated thing,'" he said. "I've been a Batman fan forever. It ain’t going to change it for me."

But, why?

Holmes is a graduate of a San Diego high school. He was living in Aurora where he attended the University of Colorado School of Medicine, according to the Associated Press. A spokeswomen at the university said he withdrew about a month ago, but with no reason.

His family, still in California, is cooperating with authorities — according to the article — and they are believed to have nothing to do with the shooting.

"Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved," the family said in a statement released by police.

Tiny details have surfaced about who Holmes is, pointing to his "quiet and easy going," personality, according to an article on USAToday.com. According to an article on MSNBC.com, Holmes started buying his four weapons legally in May, around the same time he dropped out.

, including information from neighbors. 

Holmes' next door neighbor Tom Mai said he was "shocked" to hear about the Aurora shooting, describing the alleged shooter as a "very nice guy."

"I cannot imagine this happening," said Mai, 61, who said he has lived here since 1983.

Mai said Holmes was struggling to find a job after studying neuroscience in college, and he went to Colorado to go back to school. The Holmes family was kind, Mai said, inviting his family over for Christmas parties in the 10 years they had been neighbors.

Mai has four children, including 16-year-old Anthony Mai who described James Holmes as a happy guy who walked around smiling.

Speculation has already arisen about the similarities between the shooting and parts of the new movie, but no other reason or rhyme has been discovered.

Stephanie Steiner-Thorne commented on the Greenfield Patch Facebook page about the incident, turning her attention toward the suspect.

"I just read about that," she wrote. "Very sad and absolutely crazy! I'm interested to hear more about his behavior and background. It's sad to hear these types of things and the suspect just snaps one day and had no criminal history and stuff. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families."

How do you react to this tragedy? Tell us in the comments.

Bob McBride July 22, 2012 at 04:27 PM
It's a shame you have to be goaded into doing so since common sense would dictate one doesn't go there, but whatever it takes I guess.
Randy1949 July 22, 2012 at 04:43 PM
As Bren said up above, McBride, it's a discussion board. Obviously to you, only certain things are fit for discussion. No room for moderates in this place.
Bob McBride July 22, 2012 at 04:50 PM
A) We're having a discussion right now. B) "Moderates" have the common sense not to make politically biased quantum leaps into the cause and effect of a tragedy like this one. Got anything else, Randy?
Randy1949 July 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Maybe if you could tell me what 'quantum leap of cause and effect' I made. But honestly, I've found it's pointless to discuss anything with you. I'll wait for Hoffa, who at least has a sense of humor
Bob McBride July 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Any suggestion that there's any relationship between something Rush Limbaugh belched out and this incident falls into that category, Randy. Unless you're suggesting that some brainfart caused your hands to involuntarily type out a comment noting that particular coincidence out of the many other equally viable coincidences, you've wandered into that realm yourself. Personally, I don't think this is a topic in need of a lot of humor at this point, but if that's your preference, bring on the chuckles. I certainly won't be involving myself in that portion of the discussion.
Randy1949 July 22, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I was merely defending Taoist and Bren by saying it's one reasonable theory. It's no more off the wall than Louie Gomert blaming the shooting on our nation's turning away from Judeo-Christian values. The guy is most likely a loon. We still don't know his motives for when and where, even though it appears he'd been planning something like this for months. So feel free to ignore what else I've been saying -- that this is neither an excuse for gun control laws or vigilantism.
Bucky July 22, 2012 at 05:42 PM
The blood from the victims stains the hands of each and every American citizen. This is not the shooters fault but our own. This is the society that we have created to live in. This is the society that we have created to raise our children in. This is a country of two political parties that are controlled by the wealthy. We are all haters not lovers. Don't blame the shooter blame yourselves. More people donate to political parties and politicians then those that are homeless and starving. You wanted guns ,you got em. Now live with it.
Randy1949 July 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Would you care to explain the school massacre in Dunblane Scotland then? A human being turning berserker is not unique to the US, nor is it limited to modern times.
Bob McBride July 22, 2012 at 06:07 PM
It's not reasonable theory, nor is the one Gomert put forth. They're both either looney or disingenuous - or both. Giving either of them credence by suggesting they're "reasonable" does more damage than good. It's becoming all too common and acceptable for folks to utilize a tragedy of this nature to push a political or personal agenda. In addition to being just plan insensitive, it's dangerous. It distracts from the real issues, distorts the import of the pet issues of those who would do it and makes potential victims of those targeted as supposedly being part of the root cause of the incident.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 22, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Hoffa - Gutzmiller thanks the Good Lord you do not have an investigative job. You draw conclusions way too quickly, the wrong conclusions, and you are one of those paranoids that sees conspiracy everywhere, probably because you engage in them. The whole story is not in, yet you and McGuire jump to hasty political conclusions. There was obviously a lot of prepartation involved by Holmes, and that was fairly obvious from earlier reports. I never stated that Limbaugh's statements about the movie being anti-Republican could be the only factor in Holme's actions. But unstable people reach tipping points about whether to go forward with a horrific plan. Did he listen to Rush two days before the carnage? You cannot answer that, now can you. You are speculating and chomping at the bit to accuse. A Rush to judgement, so to speak. My concern was for the safety of innocents. If Rush tipped Holmes into the final decision, Rush could affect others in a similar way, and a good prevention would be for Rush to retract. The whole theory Rush about the Hollywood conspiracy once again makes Rush appears again to be an extreme fool. The character Bane has been around for a couple of decades, and not invented by movie writers or to reflect on Bain Capital. At one time, Rush Limbaugh was the leading Republican in Presidential polls. He is much more than "an entertainer". and has the power to direct peoples actions in strange ways, such as with how totally odd Bob McGuire acts.
Randy1949 July 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I mentioned Gomert earlier too. You must have missed that. Fair enough -- they're both unreasonable theories. You want mine? You have an intelligent young man, possibly with some mental illness, experiencing a lot of frustration in his life recently (unable to find work, possibly failing in his graduate school program) and he snaps. But what prompts a person to take it out on a crowd of innocent people? What got inside his head to make him do it in this way? It's a question that bears asking, and at least this one is still alive for us to ask it.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 22, 2012 at 06:38 PM
AWD - I am actually embarassed for the other extreme right wing commenters by you. You just cannot be real, but if you are, you are a menace to society.
Bob McBride July 22, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I wouldn't go beyond mental illness and I'm only willing to go that far based on my personal belief that you'd have to be mentally ill to actually take actions of this nature. As you say, he's alive which is fairly unique I think in cases like this. All the more reason not to speculate at this point and to allow the professionals to do what ever they're able to do to determine what went wrong.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Hoffa - As a companion issue to whether Rush might have pushed Holmes into actually carrying out his diabolical carnage, I invite the reader to read your comments about Rush's conspiracy theory about Bane (Bain Capital) in the Batman movie and Hollywood's conspiracies against the right wing in general. You comments were made before Holmes acted Thursday night. They are in the Paul Doro blog."Politics and the Dark Knight Rises". You were really supportive of Rush's nutball comments about Bane and leftist Hollywood. Thank goodness you have no followers. http://wauwatosa.patch.com/blog_posts/politics-and-the-dark-knight-rises
Greg July 22, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I think Hoffa has one follower, Dirk that is sooo sweet.
James R Hoffa July 22, 2012 at 07:20 PM
@Dirk - If you want to ride the politically motivated conspiracy theory horse until it runs out of gas for lack of corroboration, you're free to do so. Hoffa and McBride are merely pointing out that it makes you, and others who partake in it, look like a bunch of jackasses. "… and a good prevention would be for Rush to retract." Yeah, because mentally psychotic people who are tipped over the edge tend to become miraculously sane again when a retraction is offered. I'm so glad that there are people like you out there to make sure that we're all protected against such deranged people that would do us harm by offering such logical and common sensical solutions! "You were really supportive of Rush's nutball comments about Bane...." Please provide a quote in support of this accusation. "Thank goodness you have no followers." You appear to be pretty interested in following Hoffa's postings!
Dirk Gutzmiller July 22, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Hoffa - What you seem to be proposing is that Rush's comments just before the Holmes carnage should never be/have been considered as a contributing factor because of political embarrassment to the far right. When lives are in the balance, call on Hoffa to decide whether it is politically correct or not to take preventative measures. You are on record as agreeing with Rush about his conspiracy theories, even broadening them. Rush seems to have really set you off, and you should have known better, Rush is only "an entertainer". Right. So you have unequivocably stated that Rush Limbaugh had no influence on Holmes regarding the Bane/Bain remarks? I want to bookmark that. And that the connection between Rush and Holmes was not a rational concern, no matter what the party affiliation? Otherwise, what is your beef at this point?
James R Hoffa July 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
@Dirk - Where's the quote I asked you to provide? "... because of political embarrassment to the far right." Umm... yeah, try because there's no evidence linking the two events. You want to blame Rush, hey, Hoffa certainly can't stop you from doing so. But Hoffa will point out that it makes you come off as being little more than an exploiting, finger pointing ass. Personally, Hoffa believes that the fault lies solely with James Holmes. It's premised on this concept called personal responsibility - you may want to look it up! "You are on record as agreeing with Rush about his conspiracy theories, even broadening them." Again, please provide a quote. "So you have unequivocably stated that Rush Limbaugh had no influence on Holmes regarding the Bane/Bain remarks?" Hoffa didn't need to definitely make such a statement - the facts speak for themselves. "I want to bookmark that." Be my guest. You'll never admit that you were wrong and exploiting this situation to engage in extremely divisive partisan politics. "And that the connection between Rush and Holmes was not a rational concern, no matter what the party affiliation?" What connection between Rush and Holmes - please cite your source. "Otherwise, what is your beef at this point?" Only what it always is - the low information, non-thinking people and those who attempt to exploit them.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 22, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Hoffa - You have become surly and abusive. You must be feeling cornered. I invited the reader to read the Doro blog and your comments. In a trial, I would read your comments to the jury and let them decide which side you were coming down on. You were certainly not taking Rush to task for his innane theories. I suggest you try to understand that good investigators consider many factors in a crisis, run down leads and theories, hope to stem further damage, and do not hold back because somebody's feelings may be hurt. You seem to be utterly outraged, and maybe we need to tiptoe around you. I think your concern that I influence the low information non-thinking voter is really quite the spin. I leave that to you and McGuire. I believe I have made my valid points, and am not going to stay here all day and debate someone that has lost it.
James R Hoffa July 22, 2012 at 09:51 PM
@Dirk - You're making illogical correlations because you're theory has been proven idiotic, you're not a big enough man to admit that you're wrong, and your rigid ideology prevents you from doing anything else except going all in on such stupidity and attacking others for calling you out on it! Does Hoffa believe that some in Hollywood have a predisposed partisan political bias that is apparent in the product they produce - absolutely, and unashamedly so! Did Hoffa ever state that he bought into or supported Rush's specific claims about the new Batman film - NEVER. It's not Hoffa's role to "take Rush to task" for his comments, as Hoffa believes in the sanctity of free speech, one of the cornerstone rights of the principles that founded our nation. If you believe in censorship in the name of the 'greater-good,' it's your right to do so and espouse such a belief on public forums. But it's also my right to call you out on such an un-American position. Good investigators work off the objective facts and available evidence. Again, you have nothing connecting Holmes to Rush, but keep on insisting that you do. For all you know, it could have been Obama's recent rant against successful people that set the guy off, but you never raised that possibility. WHY? It happened shortly after Obama gave that speech. Coincidence? Maybe Elizabeth Warren claiming to be a Native American caused him to start stock piling weapons and ammo. Or maybe, the guy is just a nut!
Bucky July 22, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Talking USA Randy.
Bucky July 22, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Randy I am not familiar with the event that you are speaking of and there for I choose not to deflect your request by asking you to explain murders tit for tat.
Terry July 23, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Sorry DIrk to disagree with you. I am more than willing to have this debate. Just not hear and now. You guys have managed the equivalent of arguing about grandma's property during her funeral.
Terry July 23, 2012 at 04:29 AM
And Dirk, as your fellows have pointed out in the past, I am a tough one to throw in your little categories. I am a strong FISCAL conservative. But in other areas I am more moderate, such as legalization of pot. You have no guesses about my stance on gun control, as I haven't given it yet. Nor will I here, as it isn't the time or the place.
Vigilanti July 26, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Besides being Bushes fault. Someone pleaseexplain to me why people need to buy m-16's and AR-15s what the hell for!
Vigilanti July 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM
The Amish who believe in in-breeding, child pedophlia, and multiple wives thats what you consider being mature. God help us all!
Randy1949 July 26, 2012 at 03:33 PM
The Amish most certainly do not practice polygamy. For an ignorant comment, that was more ignorant than most.
Lyle Ruble July 26, 2012 at 03:59 PM
@vigilanti...You know absolutely nothing about the Amish and to make such statements of mis-facts requires a response. First of all, the Amish do not believe in polygamy in any way shape or form. That is isolated to the splinter groups of Mormonism such as the FLDS. Secondly, the Amish are pacifistic in both their dogma and actions. The tenets of their religion embrace anti-violence. Third, where in the world would you get the idea that the Amish are pedophiles? If you are, in fact, referring to earlier or teen marriages, their demographics indicate that their age at marriage is in the late teens and early twenties. Again, I think you are confusing the Amish with the FLDS sects.
Matt Stevens July 26, 2012 at 11:29 PM
@ Vigilanti. Civilians can't buy M16's. That's an assault weapon. The AR-15 is a customizable rifle with a huge aftermarket following and a variety of configuration options. It's also used in sport shooting, hunting, and just like any other semi-automatic, could be used for self-defense.
Terry July 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Actually Vigilanti and Matt, there are a couple legal paths for civilians to own them. And it may be Vigilanti that in your particular world view you don't see any need for anyone to own these, but there are others that do. Part of living in a free society includes the possibility that others may own something that you don't want or care for.


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