A masked gunman fired into a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver at the midnight opening of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”, killing twelve people and injuring at least fifty others last night, authorities said.
The violent and chaotic scene erupted about 12:30 a.m. MDT as a gunman stood at the front of one of the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall where the latest Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” was playing, police said.
“Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,” Oates said at a news conference.
It was the worst mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school’s library.
Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania on ABC’s “Good Morning America” said he didn’t know yet if all the injuries were gunshot wounds. He said some might have been caused by other things such as shrapnel.
Glenn responded to the tragedy in the opening minutes of his morning radio show.
“Do you remember when Columbine happened? Columbine is not far from this shooting. And I remember when Columbine happened. We couldn’t even begin to understand it. Columbine in the 1990s, we lost so much of our innocence. The 1990s we had Columbine. We had Oklahoma. We had O.J. Simpson,” he said.
“Things changed in the 1990s. Now, now when something, like when nine people are killed and injured in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska 2007, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s bad. We pay attention for a while, but it doesn’t change us. Five students killed, 16 injured after a man opened fire at a lecture hall in Northern Illinois University in De Kalb, Illinois, February 2008. 13 people shot dead by a gunman in Binghamton, New York, the civic center. Do you remember that one? April 2009,” Glenn said.
“Let’s be very clear. I don’t know if this guy had any political motivation. I do know this: He’s a monster. I don’t know who will be the first to politicize this. I don’t know who will be the first to say, ‘It’s the problem with guns,’ and on the other side I don’t know who the first will be to say, ‘It’s a problem with Hollywood.’ Let me be the first to say there’s a hole in the soul of America. What is it we’re filling that hole with?”
“I don’t even know if we really notice it so much, it’s happened to us so slowly. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I take my own advice. I walk the walk, or try to. I told you last November, if you could, buy farmland. If you could, surround yourself with like‑minded, decent people, people who still understand America, people who still go to church on Sunday. I don’t care what church it is. I don’t care if it’s synagogue on Saturday. God‑fearing people. People that still know their neighbor and still want to help.”
Glenn explained that he had moved with his family to Texas, and had recently bought a ranch out West as well where he spent his Fourth of July weekend. He talked about walking the land with his family.
“I was walking with my daughter and I had my rifle with me and we had been practice shooting, and we were walking back to the house on the farm and the sun was starting to go down and it was this golden, golden glow of the sun. And the farm still had the tall grass. It was yellow from the heat. And just over the hill, just at the top of the grass, tall grass and the cows, the cows were nothing but shadows, long. And the sun hit the top of all of the grass. We were walking kind of up the hill towards the sun, towards the house. It was cinematic. And I had my rifle over my arm and my arms folded and little birds were flying out of the grass when we walked, and I was just talking to my daughter as we were walking. And as a bird flew out of the grass, I looked to see if it was a pheasant because that’s the last time I did that, my grandfather would walk with me on his farm with his shotgun broken up over his arm, and if there was a pheasant, he’d shoot it and we’d have pheasant.”
“We’ve missed the simple things. We’ve forgotten the simple things. We’ve forgotten to put goodness into our children. We’ve forgotten to put goodness into ourself. Where are the good things that are replenishing us? Where are the things that we’re doing every day that are filling us back up? You can only ‑‑ you can only experience so much darkness before it affects you. We are what we eat. That which you gaze upon you become. Maybe we should cast our eyes a little higher.”