Gunman kills 12 at Colorado Batman premiere

  • At least 12 people have been killed and 59 injured in a shooting at a midnight premiere of the new Batman film near Denver, Colorado.

    According to witnesses, a man wearing a gas mask opened fire after tossing a tear gas canister in the theater during the screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora city.

    A 24-year-old former neuroscience student, armed with a rifle, a shotgun and two pistols, was arrested in a parking lot outside the Century 16 multiplex theater.

    The gunman has been named as Aurora resident James Holmes, a white American, according to the FBI.

    Acting on information from the suspect, authorities also discovered Holmes’ home had been booby-trapped. Incendiary devices with chemical elements and trip wires were found on the property, police said.

    Cinemas in New York ramped up security at Batman showings following the shooting while the French premiere of the film in Paris was cancelled.

    U.S. President Barack Obama cut short a campaign trip to Florida to address the incident.

    "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection," Obama told supporters at a previously scheduled campaign event in Fort Myers, Florida, which he cut short to address the shooting.

    The shooting has evoked memories of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, some 17 miles away from Aurora, where two students opened fire and killed 12 students and a teacher.