Chilling account of US cinema shooting

2012-07-20 12:45

Denver – An unnamed man who has given an account of what happened at a movie theatre where a gunman has killed 14 people and wounded up to 50 after the shooting has called the incident "madness".

The man, who appears on a video on BBC, said a witness who had been in theatre 9 where the shooting took place had told him of what she had seen.

"What she described, at first...I didn’t translate it quite well. It sounded like madness to me."

The man said the woman, who was unhurt in the incident, told him that a man “about six foot [about 1.8m]” wearing a riot helmet, bullet proof vest, goggles and dressed all in black kicked through the movie theatre’s door.

Upon seeing that he was armed the woman and her boyfriend dropped to the floor and began crawling out of the theatre.

"When she turned around all she saw was this guy slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing at people. Picking random people."


Denver's KOA radio station said a figure in a gas mask had opened fire at the showing in a mall in the suburb of Aurora and set off a smoke or tear gas bomb before shooting erupted.

"This is a horrific event," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told a news conference, adding that a suspect was in custody and that there was no evidence of a second gunman.

Dozens of police were at the scene, and the authorities evacuated the area while they checked if there was an explosive device in the area.

Police arrested a male suspect in the parking lot behind the theatre, police spokesperson Frank Fania said. "He did not resist, he did not put up a fight," he said. The suspect's apartment building has been evacuated.

The suspect was thought to be in his early 20s, Fania said. He was carrying a knife, a rifle, a handgun when arrested and one other gun was recovered from the theatre, he said. He also confirmed witness accounts that the gunman was also wearing a bulletproof vest.

The gunman "appeared at the front of the screen" in the theatre and started shooting, Fania said.

Thick smoke

Another witness told CNN: "We heard anywhere from 10 to 20 shots and little explosions going on. Shortly after that we heard people screaming. Then they came on PA system and said everyone needed to get out.

"As soon as we got out, there were people running around and screaming." He said friends had told him the gunman was wearing a gas mask.

A third witness said the gunman opened fire during a shoot-out scene in the movie, leading to confusion. The theatre also filled with thick smoke, he said.

Fania said police received the first call about the shooting at 00:39 local time and responded within "a minute or two".

Local hospitals were alerted to a "mass casualty incident". Media reports said 10 people died at the scene and four died later in hospital.

A spokesperson for Denver's Swedish Medical Centre said three people had been admitted to that hospital with gunshot wounds and were in critical condition.

Another hospital, Denver Health, had received six wounded, one of whom was in critical condition, spokesperson Kalena Wilkinson said.

Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Lennon Chenga - 2012-07-20 12:53

    The dark knight has risen!!

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-07-20 13:36

      Wow that's original... did you think of that all by yourself? How about more compassion and less wise ass?

      Gavin - 2012-07-20 13:57

      pity he didn't get you in his cross hairs you f'ing insensitive prick

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-07-20 14:14

      WTF ???!!!!

      Lennon Chenga - 2012-07-20 14:55

      The dark knight has risen... That is insensitive? You do not see a person killing all those people as being evil?? If there's an IDIOT it's you!!

      AntonKingsize - 2012-07-20 18:28


  • john.moodley.7 - 2012-07-20 12:56

    Death penalty, for him.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-20 13:00

    A sad day for the human species.

  • Felix Njewa Kankhukwa - 2012-07-20 13:05

    Total madness!

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-07-20 13:08

    Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  • boltonbarry - 2012-07-20 13:10

    We have our problems and the US have theirs

  • moeg.malseun - 2012-07-20 13:11

    they say i am a mad man ,who knew

  • crazyjourno - 2012-07-20 13:13

    The Bloody American children are sick i tell you!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-20 13:23

      Our kids video gang rape .... so pick your depravity

      pisciotta - 2012-07-20 13:49

      All children have the potential of being SICK. Lets see what develops. Unfortunately this incident will be the cause of copy-cat murders - maybe in a theater near you!? And I agree with another poster - Death Penality. We have the death penalty in America. But sometimes the bleeding heart liberals here want us to feed and house this type of Sick Child all the rest of their lives.

  • sanda.mnyazi - 2012-07-20 13:19

    This will never happen in SA, people here are not that dumm

      previn.pillay.75 - 2012-07-20 13:25

      You right Sanda, rather rape half a million woman each year?

      leedsunitedfc - 2012-07-20 13:48


      pisciotta - 2012-07-20 13:50

      I think your children simply never thought of it before. Now they unfortunately have a role model to follow. Watch out for Karma Sanda. "Coming to a theater near you!"

      6Lady6Cadaver6 - 2012-07-20 14:13

      Ignorance at its best over here...

      Thobile Lugwadu - 2012-07-21 07:30

      It happened in pretoria. A white male on motorbike indicriminately shot at a commuter bus full of black people.

  • diran.pillay - 2012-07-20 13:20

    We live in a sick world!

  • Mzakes - 2012-07-20 13:31

    Good thing the death penalty survived in colorado, put the aholes to sleep.

      pisciotta - 2012-07-20 13:54

      But CO also is home to many bleeding heart liberals who want us to feed this maniac until he dies of natural causes. I'm holding out judgement however until more is known about the sick motive. If it was political or religious in any way, then you'll see a Sh*t storm of activity. If it was just another youth killing kids because he was depressed or depraved, then I'm afraid he'll get life in prison. We'll just have to wait and see.

      tooka.loosh - 2012-07-20 18:39

      Please pjp. If given the option of being put to death nice and gently, or being raped 6 six times daily by some huge sweaty black convict for the next 20 years, I think most of us would welcome the death penalty. Deny him the death penalty I say, let him really get punished.

  • amandacoolbeans.vniekerk - 2012-07-20 13:38

    Holy smuck!!! What an outing to the movies?

  • shaun.feldtmann - 2012-07-20 13:39

    Very tragic event. If this happened in a mall then why didn't the security see this before anything happened? But no one is to blame accept the mad man. Funny how the most crazy gunners are from US. But hey we have our crazy people to.

      pisciotta - 2012-07-20 14:00

      Shaun, yup unfortunatley the lone gunman does seem to come fromt the States. Too many B&W Cowboy movies perhaps. As for Gang Violence SA beats the USA 10:1. As for noticing trouble in advance, the reports in the States say the gunman entered thru an Emergency Exit. How that is possible I don't know. But if that is the case, then he came in off the parking lot as the emergency exists in theaters here lead out of the entire building (complex / mall).

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-20 13:44

    I want to know what this kids motives were, if any... probably mad as a hatter.

      wessel.jordaan.3 - 2012-07-21 08:42

      interesting...define mad - not the stereotype diagnosis society (you and me)so flippantly verbalise my opinion we are all 'mad' to a greater or lesser degree and are tethering on the edge....some individuals just think too much and analyse all their thoughts and eventually play them out - like in this unstable moment...I am so so sorry for his parents and all the those souls destroyed

  • Mzakes - 2012-07-20 13:48

    Thinks’ he is Bane the villain in the move with the mask on. they should regard this as a terrorist attack.

      pisciotta - 2012-07-20 14:02

      If it turns out it was a terrorist attack believe me there will be contining fighting against the group he was acting for. Too early to tell, but I think this may be just another "Columbine" sitaution. Troubles youths. Why he didn't take himself out is another question I have.

  • leedsunitedfc - 2012-07-20 13:49

    This is just sickening

  • laura.baasch - 2012-07-20 13:55

    No I'm sorry. it's not tragic and it's not a pity. The American bring this on themselves daily. As a nation they have the most incredibly bizarre gun control laws on the planet. It's their own fault selling gusn to kids at the equivialnt of a Macro with no documentation or background checks needed. "The suspect was thought to be in his early 20s, Fania said. He was carrying a knife, a rifle, a handgun when arrested and one other gun was recovered from the theatre, he said. He also confirmed witness accounts that the gunman was also wearing a bulletproof vest." Ja those are my next shopping list... nothing suspicious about that

      pisciotta - 2012-07-20 14:14

      Laura - Anyone can get a gun IN ANY COUNTRY. As easy as getting Pot at a Petrol Station (Engin) in JHB. You are speaking with no knowledge of US Laws regarding the PROPER sale of hand-guns. But this child with a gun I'm sure received his gun the same way any other child in SA could get theirs. That said I do not believe this nor any other incident of firearm abuse will cause Americans to repeal our 2nd Ammendment. And finally as a white male I have a 12% greater chance of being murdered in SA than I do in the States. See Laura - guns are not the problem. Perhaps SA should beef up its Tire (Tyre) control as you think the US should do the same with our gun control.

      mathilda.williams.1 - 2012-07-20 22:42

      @laura.baasch: You believe all the violence and murders in SA are caused by poverty, apartheid and circumstances, lack of education and third world conditions. That is really the biggest cop-out I have ever heard. With that attitude, you literally hand the poor, uneducated a free pass to murder. I know many poor people who do NOT murder. The crime in SA is caused NOT by poverty and apartheid, but by lawlessness and anarchy, by blood thirsty thugs. But.....whatever makes you sleep at night. I just know my family members who were killed by armed robbers in SA, lost nothing but a cell phone, and oh wait....their lives. How do you blame poverty for that? You clearly have an intense dislike for America and Americans, as do many SAcans, but please, try to keep a balanced outlook at least when you open your mouth in public.

  • Gavin - 2012-07-20 13:59

    if I'm not mistaken, this state has the death penalty, this thing will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, not like impotent SA law.

  • cheree.cox - 2012-07-20 14:19

    This is jus sooooooo tragic .... How on earth ... WTF ....

  • simba.mandiveyi - 2012-07-20 14:26

    Absolute nutcase...shocking

  • bridgette.elk.7 - 2012-07-20 14:56

    Terribly sad :( can't imagine going to a movie and never coming out alive !? It sort of reminds me of the norway massacre, which coincidently also happened around this time last year .

  • mhla.nombembe - 2012-07-20 15:50

    I hope this has nothing to do with terror attack . . . This gunmen was realy prepared for this occasion becuse he was carrying more than one hundred bullets when looking at the number of people he hurt

      abby.salemane - 2012-07-20 15:57

      I think one is safe here in SA...I think this is the work of Satanism.

  • graciela.h.nardi - 2012-07-20 20:03

    Guns! Guns! Until when!!! It is horrible!!!!

  • johnedward.ferreira - 2012-07-21 04:55

    Finally who do you think ou are sitting on your high horse and judging my country ? Yes, we have problems. But don't think that you, sitting at home on your obese backside, know anything about my country. You read stats, that show South Africa in a horrible light and do not reflect any sort of reality of living in as. Yes the crime is bad, it is violent. Youths in poverty are surrounded by this kind of behaviours and it becomes hard, with a lack of infrastructure and basic education or equal opportunity, to steer people in these situations towards a different life. What's your excuse for producing serial killers ? You don't have one. The problem lies At the heart of the culture of your society at large. It lies in things such as your complete over consumption and your innate love for excess in all things. I'm not saying that all Americans like this, but this is the dominant way of thought in your country. I mean why are events like this shooting so ridiculously prominent in America only ?? Half of them have nothing to do with terror attacks ? Most of them are just crazy kids ? Surely this is an indicator that there is a big problem in America ? The fact that we were talking about the above shooting and someone mentioned that this only happens in America, in reply to which an American brought up Ridiclous South African statistics about gang violence gang rape, and the survival chance of a white male ? When did this become a competition ? This just highlights what's wrong with

  • johnedward.ferreira - 2012-07-21 05:06

    you Americans. Forget about SA, concentrate on your own useless society. You send your own people to die in a war that has nothing to do with you, and half of you are ok with it ? While your own people die and corporations make billions off the war effort in the supply of weapons ? You're so stupid you believe the controlled news that is fed to you, you're easily lobbied into believing almost anything ? 'threatening our way of life, the American regime ?', are you honestly stupid enough to believe that your very way of life is at stake ? While the share prices of oil companies triple ? You have not done one ounce of good in this world, everything your entire nation does is for it's own selfish ends, yet you force your ideals down everyone's throats and cuckhold other nations into following your western idea of what is good and bad. I mean you completely buggered black hawk down ? You messed the entire place up and then you just left the Somalia in a worse state than ou found them ? When you needed to get involved, in Rwanda, you did nothing. You practically strong armed the UN into doing nothing. America, is nothing but a modern day 'raper and pillagers' of other nations. You are at the core of the neocolonialism that destroying Africa as well as African identity. But, of course your way of life is the only way of life that can be acceptable. Your ideals are the only ideals fit for anyone hey ? Americ

  • johnedward.ferreira - 2012-07-21 05:06

    Pushed ent

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-07-21 09:22

    To much PS3

  • alexisamanda.cloete - 2012-07-21 17:01

    This sickens me to the stomach. What possessed him to do this? As for the wisecracks and jokes that have been abounding on various social platforms - I just don't get it. A tragedy like this is not funny. My thoughts go to the family and friends of the victims. :(

  • pages:
  • 1