Twelve people were killed and at least 50 others wounded early Friday when a gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the summer blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises" near Denver, authorities and witnesses said.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told reporters that 10 people died at the scene and four others died after being taken to local hospitals. At least 50 other people were injured, Oates said, including a six-year-old girl.
Witnesses said tear gas also went off in the theater.
A 24-year-old male suspect was apprehended in the shopping center's parking lot, Oates said.
The incident occurred in the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center, police told NBC News. Aurora is a suburb less than 10 miles east of downtown Denver.
NBC station KUSA-Denver cited a witness as seeing a black-clad 6-foot-tall man wearing a riot helmet, goggles and bullet-proof vest.
However, many people attended the film dressed in Batman-related costumes.
Witnesses said the gunman entered the theater through an emergency exit door.
The suspect was found in possession of a gas mask, Oates said. Ammunition was found in the suspect's car, police said.
Citing officials, NBC News' Pete Williams reported that the shooter had three weapons -- a rifle and two handguns. The suspect's car has Tennessee plates but authorities believe he was living locally.
Oates said there was no evidence of additional suspects.
The suspect's apartment building in north Aurora was evacuated after the suspect made a statement to police about possible explosives at his home, Oates said.
Police raiding the theater in the hunt for the suspect had to ask for gas masks.
"Get us some damn gas masks for theater 9, we can't get in it," one officer radioed back to emergency dispatch during the operation, according to an excerpt aired on KUSA.
Witnesses told reporters that gunfire erupted during a shootout scene in the film.
Brenda Stuart, of 850 KOA radio, told Sky News that "a lot of people thought the gunshots were part of the movie."
One young man told KUSA that he was out front of the theater with friends when the shooting broke out.
"Next thing you know you hear 'boom' like tear gas, a bomb. ... Then you hear gunshots go off, like a fully automatic weapon. There were like 50-60 gunshots. I was just worried about getting out of there."
Another eyewitness stated he "saw at least four, maybe five people limping, slightly wounded. ... I saw one girl covered in blood.
"I don't know whose little girl that was, but my heart goes out to them. ... A cop came walking through the front door ... holding a little girl in his arms and she wasn't moving, she wasn't moving." Full Story
Friends And Families Of Victims Gather At Hospital
People Fleeing The Theater