AURORA, Colo. -- An overnight shooting inside a movie theater near the Aurora Mall has killed 12 people and injured at least 38 others, according to police officers at the scene.
More than 250 police officers from across the metro area -- from Brighton to Jefferson County -- were called out to respond. They gathered near the parking lot near the Dillard's entrance.
According to a mortician called out to the scene, a person went into the movie theater showing the premiere of the "Dark Knight Rises," set off a smoke grenade and started firing.
Ten people died in the theater, two more died at nearby hospitals. The Police Department previously released a preliminary number of 14 dead, but only 12 can be confirmed at this time. Approximately 50 total persons were shot, including the deceased, police said.
Several people were shot and others were injured by scrap metal pepper bomb, the mortician said. Witnesses told 7NEWS that the bullets were fired in theater 9, but bullets also pierced the nearby theater and injured movie-goers in that theater.
The entire parking lot around the Century 16 Movie Theaters was blocked off.
A spokeswoman for Swedish Hospital said the hospital went on alert at 1:15 a.m. and began calling in extra staff.Swedish Hospital received three patients, all of them with gunshot wounds.
Two patients were in surgery as of 4 a.m. Those victims are a 20-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man. Both were in critical condition and in surgery at 4 a.m., according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The third victim was treated and released.University Hospital said it has 20 victims with minor to severe injuries. Nine of those victims are critical.The victims taken to University Hospital are mostly adults, but some are teenagers. The youngest victim was a 3-month-old child.
Children's Hospital told 7NEWS it was treating six victims from the theaters. They range in age from six to 31.Denver Health said it took six patients from the Aurora shooting. One is in critical condition and the other five are in fair condition. More victims were taken to Aurora South Hospital.
President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" when he learned about the shooting. He is urging the nation to "come together as one American family."
A 24-year-old suspect was arrested in the parking lot of theater, police said. Witnesses said he was dressed in black and was wearing a gas mask and bulletproof vest. He was found with two weapons in his possession, a rifle and a handgun, police said.
Investigators said they recovered a third weapon, but they did not say where that weapon was found or what it was.The suspect alluded to bombs at his house. Police are at that apartment at Paris Street and 17th Avenue in North Aurora and have evacuated the building and the nearby area.
The suspect has not been identified. A bulletin was issued to other police agencies throughout the metro area warning them of the possibility of similar incidences in theaters in their cities.
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