Midlands Movie-Goers React to Massacre
They say they are not deterred
COLUMBIA, S.C./DENVER, C,O (WOLO/ABC NEWS) -- The title 'Dark Knight Rises' took on new meaning for hundreds in Colorado. However, while folks in the Midlands are thinking of those impacted, they are determined to keep living their lives when it comes to their favorite films.
The suspected "lone-wolf" shooter of the Batman movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., has been identified as Ph.D. student James Holmes, who recently withdrew from his neuroscience studies at the University of Colorado before shooting up the "Dark Knight Rises" screening.
Holmes, 24, moved to Aurora to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Medical Center, living just blocks from the hospital in an apartment reportedly laced with explosives and being searched by HazMat teams.
Holmes killed at least 12 people and injured as many as 59, including U.S. military members, during the midnight premiere of the movie at the Century 16 Movie Theaters in Aurora. He barged into the theater mid-show, setting off smoke bombs and stalking up and down the aisles firing as many as four weapons at viewers.
He was captured by police in the parking lot while still wearing a bullet-proof vest, riot helmet and gas mask. Federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News that Holmes bought a ticket to the movie, slipped out of the theater once it began and propped open the emergency exit before gathering his weapons and gear and coming back into the theater. Once inside, he opened fire.
Moviegoer Christopher Ramos today recalled the real-life horror of the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," in Aurora, Colo., as a gunman decked in riot gear set off smoke bombs and opened fire on the unsuspecting audience.
"People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me, jumping over me. And there were bodies on the ground," Ramos said. "I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die."
"The image in our heads is stuck in there. I still have the ticket right here and honestly, I'm never going to forget this night at all. Because it was the first time I saw something that was real. Like a real-life nightmare that was there, not dreaming of," Ramos told ABC News today.
Holmes was caught by police in the parking lot of the movie theater shortly after the shooting still dressed in his riot gear, an outfit eerily similar to a villain in "The Dark Knight Rises." He warned police that his Aurora apartment was booby-trapped, leading police to evacuate the apartment complex. They were working this morning to gain entry to and diffuse the apartment, which they said seems to be "elaborately" rigged with explosives.
Here in the Midlands, Gov. Nikki Haley offered condolences at the beginning of a Friday morning GED ceremony. Local movie-goers told us they are saddened by the events but won't stop living their lives because of the actions of someone else.
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