Spilled popcorn is seen on the group near the Century movie theatre in Aurora Colorado near Denver Friday July 20, 2012. masked gunman killed 14 people and wounded 50 others when he opened fire on moviegoers at a showing of new Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” in the US city of Denver in the early hours of Friday, police said.
Credits: GALEN CLARKE/QMI AGENCY
Before the mass shooting of moviegoers at a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., made news headlines across the globe Friday morning, the story was being told on Twitter by those who witnessed the chaos.
The film was showing at three theatres at the Century 16 Movie Theaters in Aurora, a city just east of Denver, late Thursday night.
Theatre 9, where the shooting reportedly took place, and the adjacent theatres were evacuated by police, and moviegoers from the adjacent theatres immediately reported what had happened on Twitter.
"There was a shooting at century 16 aurora about 30 minutes into the movie. Its crazy," Isaac J Ramos (@IsaacJRamos) tweeted at 12:01 a.m. local time.
"Have just evacuated our theater in Aurora. There was a shooting in our auditorium. I am safe," Zach Eastman (@ZachEtake38) tweeted two minutes later.
"There are cops from denver, centennial, and aurora. Things are nuts right now," Ramos tweeted. "Never seen so many cop cars in my life. Its a parade of lights.
"Different things are flying around but we know that shots were fired."
At 12:18 a.m., local TV news outlet 9 News Denver tweeted about the shooting.
"9NEWS VIEWERS: There is a mass shooting incident in Aurora. Until we have confirmed info from Police we will not be releasing numbers."
More details came from those who had been in the movie theatre.
"Saw three different people who had been shot but hear there are a lot more," Jaime Marshall (@JME817) tweeted at 12:47 a.m. "We did see bullet holes n the left side wall of our Theater 8. Sounded like someone setting off fire crackers n our theater. #aurorashooting."
Marshall also tweeted a photo of tickets to the film in Theatre 9. "So lucky. We went to 8 instead," she tweeted.
After the immediate chaos of the shooting calmed down, one man tweeted that he'd been in Theatre 9.
"#theatershooting For those wondering, I was indeed in the theater where this happened, but I am OK," William R Washington (@WilliamRBR) tweeted at 2:10 a.m. Friday.
"You have no idea how grateful I am to be here right now. We could've sat anywhere else and been telling a different story."