Fourteen people have died in Colorado after a gun attack at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie, police said today.
Police Chief Dan Oates says 50 others were injured when gunfire erupted early today at the Aurora theatre.
A gunman appeared at the front of one of the Century 16 theatres.
He said “witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire.”
Police say one person has been arrested. Mr Oates said there was no evidence of any additional shooters.
Officers found the gunman near a car behind the theatre.
“A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon (were) found inside” Oates said.
The suspect was taken into custody, but no name was released. Mr Oates said there was no evidence of any other attackers. There was also no immediate word of any motive.
The suspect spoke of “possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing with that potential threat,” Mr Oates said, without providing details on where that was.
The suspect's apartment block has since been evacuated.
Witness Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he was inside Theatre 16 in a suburb of Denver when he heard several shots.
“Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming,” he told the station.
The attack took place just a few miles from the scene of one of America’s most notorious shooting sprees in Columbine. In 1999, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot themselves after killing 12 students and a teacher.
Reporter Brenda Stuart said movie-goers thought the attack was part of the film at first.
"This started with a midnight showing of the new 'Dark Knight' movie. Those theatres were packed, several were showing the movie. People inside said they thought it was part of the movie.
"They thought they were firecrackers and loud bangs before they saw bullets flying.
"A lot of people ran, screaming from the theatre and then tear gas went off."