Local movie theaters react to Colorado Massacre, masks banned
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- The city of Aurora, Colorado, is trying to come to grips with the unimaginable tragedy that happened inside a local movie theater during the midnight premiere of the newest Batman movie.
Thirty people are still in the hospital and 11 are listed in critical condition. This is the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. During a press conference, late Friday, the Aurora police chief said 10 bodies were taken out the theater at 5 p.m. pacific time.
Investigators are still meeting with victims' families, so those names have not been released. The only victim that has been positively identified is 25-year-old Jessica Ghawi.
Officials said not everyone who was injured was shot, as was reported early on. Police said an unknown, but small hand full of people, were hurt during all the chaos as moviegoers tried to get out.
The deranged shoot, James Holmes, bought his weapons at four Colorado gun shops. Holmes then turned to the Internet to buy 6,000 rounds of ammunition. Holmes set up explosives inside his apartment and police are still trying to get inside and defuse to booby-trapped apartment.
Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado-Denver studying neuro-science, but the school said he was in the process of dropping out. Sources said Holmes' hair was dyed red and he said 'I am the Joker' when he started shooting at people inside the packed Cinemark movie theater playing the new Batman film.
It was business as usual at Mishawaka Cinemark Movies 14, all the The Dark Knight Rises showings were pack as opening weekend for the Batman film continued as scheduled. Even though Mishawaka moviegoers felt it was safe to go to the movies, everyone said the tragedy in Colorado was in the back of their minds.
"Terribly disturbing, horrific, it's such a tragedy," said Karen Powers as she came to pick up her son and three friends after they went to see The Dark Knight Rises.
After the tragedy that unfolded in a Colorado movie theater, moviegoers in Mishawaka said the local police presence is a welcome sight. "It's always nice to see the guys out here, so that no one decides to be a copycat and the people that are coming out have that sense of comfort," said moviegoer Scott Turley.
What many do not know is that both the local movie theaters have off-duty police officers, for additional security, every Friday and Saturday night. Rregardless of the extra safety precautions now being taken by movie theaters, many said they would have come to see the movie anyways.
"Plain and simply, if we all sat and lived in fear based on the fact that one but in Colorado, then it's not America anymore," said Turley.
Friday night, no one wore costumes to the Mishawaka theater. People are still allowed to dress up for the Batman movie at the Cinemark theater, but moviegoers said it would not be a good idea because it's hard to figure out what is real and what is fake.
"If you show up some place in a cavalier vest and a gas mask on, then yes, it's going to make people wander what you are up to," said Turley.
Although you can still wear costumes to the Mishawaka theater, AMC Showplace 16 will not be allowing people to wear masks, bring in fake weapons, or wear any costume that makes others feel uncomfortable.