(AURORA, Colo.) — A shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Friday has left at least 12 people dead and 50 others injured, including a 3-month-old baby, authorities confirmed.
Police have apprehended a suspect, described by federal authorities to ABC News as 24-year-old James Holmes, and have recovered a gun after the shooting at the Century 16 Movie Theaters in the Denver suburb.
Witnesses said the suspect appeared at the front of the theater with a rifle, handgun and gas mask. They said he then threw a canister that released some kind of gas, after which a hissing sound ensued. The gunman then opened fire on the crowd packed into the early-morning screening of the film, according to people in the theater at the time.
A man who talked to a couple inside the theater told ABC News, “They got up and they started to run through the emergency exit, she said that when she turned around, all she saw was the guy slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing at people, just picking random people.”
An explosive device was also found inside the theater. Police are unsure whether the device, which investigators are calling a bomb, was already in place or whether it was thrown into the crowd.
Ambulances rushed to the scene as audience members fled the theater.
Once apprehended, Holmes told authorities that there are explosives in his North Aurora, Colo., residence. Investigators rushed to the apartment complex, which was quickly evacuated and placed under lockdown.
Investigators confirmed that explosives were found. It is unclear if they were scheduled to detonate or if they were part of a stockpile.
Though police have said that they believe Holmes was acting alone, they are now taking precautions and checking all cars in the theater parking lot and adjacent areas.
Investigators are also interviewing friends and associates of the suspect to get a sense of his background.
The FBI said approximately 100 of its agents are on the scene assisting with the ongoing investigation.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio