Published on Jul 20, 2012
Amatuar footage of the gun shooting at the midnight showing of the batman premiere in Aurora.
A GUNMAN has opened fire inside a suburban Denver movie theatre just after midnight, leaving 14 people dead and at least 50 others injured, police say.
The violent and chaotic scene erupted about 12.30am early on Friday when a masked gunman opened fire as people watched the third instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise.
The gunman stood at the front of one of the Century 16 theatres at the Aurora Mall as the movie was playing, Aurora police chief Dan Oates said.
The man apparently used teargas during the incident and also shot a baby. He is thought to have been wearing armour and a gas mask with some reports suggesting he was dressed as Batman villain Bane from the movie.
''Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,'' Mr Oates said at a news conference.
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Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said.
According to Denver reporter Justin Joseph of KDVR, the man stood up brandishing a gun as soon as Batman appeared on screen. Moviegoers apparently initially thought it was part of the film.
''As people ran this gunman, or gunmen, opened fire hitting people,'' British newspaper The Telegraph quotes him as saying.
''Police sources have told us there are 10 bodies inside the cinema, most of them children or teenagers, and one baby.
''A baby was shot at point blank range, the family were gathered around screaming.
''There were police on scene when it happened and one of the gunmen was captured quickly.''
Officers found the gunman near a car behind the theatre.
''A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon (were) found inside'' he said.
The suspect was taken into custody, but no name was released. Mr Oates said there's no evidence of any other attackers. There was also no immediate word of any motive.
The suspect spoke of ''possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing with that potential threat'', Oates said, without providing details on where that was.
He said police also checked for explosives in the parking lot and theatre, and secured those areas.
Witness Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he was inside Theatre 16 and heard several shots.
''Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming,'' he told the station.
Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. But then he saw ''people hunched over leaving theatre''.
The police chief said 10 victims died at the theatre and four at area hospitals.
Two people in critical condition were rushed to the nearby Swedish Medical Centre, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said.
She said emergency crews told her staff to prepare for several more patients from the shooting scene.
''We're on standby to receive,'' she said.
Aurora is located on the southeast outskirts of Denver, about 16k from downtown.