• Twelve people have been killed and 59 injured after a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The gunman entered theater nine, at the Century 16 cinema, which was showing a midnight premiere of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, and opened fire. Jessica Ghawi, 24, was the first to be identified as among the dead, while a six-year-old girl was also killed.
• James Holmes, 24, has been identified by police as the suspected gunman. Holmes was apprehended by police at the scene, without putting up resistance. The gunman, who grew up in San Diego, California, had been living in Colorado for about a year. Holmes had been studying at the University of Colorado Denver’s medical school, but dropped out a month ago, the university said.
• Aurora police chief Dan Oates said Holmes, clad in black protective gear including a military-style helmet, ballistic vest, and black mask and gloves, had entered through a door at the front of the theater. Holmes deployed two devices, Oates said, which dispersed an irritant gas or smoke, before opening fire. Police said Holmes had used a shotgun, an assault rifle and a Glock handgun.
• President Barack Obama said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting, and abandoned what should have been a day’s campaigning in Florida. Speaking at Fort Myers before returning to Washington DC, the president said: “There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.” Mitt Romney said: “Today is a moment to grieve and remember.” Both Obama and Romney pulled advertising in Colorado.
• More details have emerged about Holmes’s background. He had enrolled in the University of Colorado’s medical school in 2011, but was not a medical student, a university spokesman said, instead studying neuroscience. Holmes had previously graduated with “the highest honours” from the University of California. San Diego police lieutenant Andra Brown told reporters that Holmes’s family had said their “hearts go out to the friends and family of everyone involved”.
• People in the theater have described the moment Holmes entered and began firing indiscriminately. Tanner Coon, 17, said as he rushed for the exit he tripped. “I slipped on some blood. I fell on a lady and told her: ‘We’ve got to go’. There was no response. I presumed she was dead.” Jennifer Seeger told NBC Holmes shot people running for the exits. Holmes is due to appear in court on Monday morning.
5.48pm ET / 10.48pm BST: CNN, quoting a federal law enforcement official, is reporting that Holmes had colored his hair red and told police that he was “the Joker”, writes Emma Keller. NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly revealed this information earlier, but Aurora’s police chief Dan Oates did not elaborate at a press conference earlier today. NBC is confirming the reports. CNN also report that Holmes left loud music playing in his apartment. The music was set on a timer so that it blared in the apartment once he left for the movie theater. The music was described by the source as “techno-music”.
5.36pm ET / 10.36pm BST: ABC’s White House correspondent Jake Tapper tweets this picture of the stars and stripes flying at half-mast today.
5.31pm ET / 10.31pm BST: More information continues to trickle out about suspected gunman James Holmes. Reuters’ Matthew Keys tweetsa link to this press release confirming that that Holmes attended Westview High School in San Diego. He graduated from the school in 2006, according to the local school district.
5.10pm ET / 10.10pm BST: Here’s a reading list of the Guardian’s coverage from today.
4.38pm ET / 9.38pm BST: Meanwhile, a police operation continues at Holmes’s apartment in Aurora, Emma Keller says. The city’s deputy fire chief, Chris Henderson, said the bottle suspected of containing explosives are liter size, “like coke bottles”, he said.
Henderson said there were “several string like contraptions in there” referring to the trip wires. Investigators still don’t know what the liquid is.
Residents evacuated from the neighbouring apartments said they had not been told when they could return.
4.23pm ET / 9.23pm BST: More from Emma Keller, monitoring local media reports coming out of Aurora.
Further evacuations have been made of Research Center 1 and Reseach Center 2 at 19th and Scranton in the city, Emma says. The buildings, located two blocks from Holmes’s apartment, are reportedly of the Denver Genetic Labs of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. One is the UCD Biochemical Genetics Lab.
Bomb sniffing dogs are said to be going to go in there, according to emails received by people working there. Holmes worked at research center one.
The Director of Security has contradicted what people are telling CBS. He says only Research Center One is being evacuated due to its proximity to Holmes’ apartment. The activity here is said to be “precautionary” according to a University spokesman.
4.15pm ET / 9.15pm BST: ABC and NBC are reporting that James Holmes’ firearms were legally purchased at the Bass Pro and Gander Mountain Guns shops over the last few months.
My colleague Matt Williams spoke to an outlet of Gander Mountain Guns in Aurora, but was told by a staff member that they were “not allowed to comment”. Likewise attempts to speak to a representative at Bass Pro have so far been unsuccessful.
Oates asked that the media use “caution” in reporting on social media. “Please be very careful, we are analysing all social media and we are already finding a lot of pranks,” he said.
Oakland shooting: seven dead after gunman opens fire at college
Suspect in custody after shooting at a private Christian university in California with at least seven reported dead
Seven people have been killed and at least three more injured in a shooting at a private university in Oakland, California.
Police said a suspect had been detained after the attack, which happened just after 10.30am local time on Monday at Oikos University.
Local media reports said the incident began when a student opened fire in a classroom at Oikos, a Korean religious college offering studies in theology, music, nursing, and Asian medicine.
Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said that a gunman entered the college and fired multiple shots. “I can confirm that we do have one person who has been detained that we believe is possibly responsible for this shooting,” Watson said.
Emergency crews treated some of the wounded at the scene, while others were taken away by ambulances. Pictures showed at least four of the dead had been covered with tarps on an area of grass near the building.
“We’re still evacuating the interior of the school. Our first priority is to evacuate the injured. Right now the Swat team is searching the school,” she said.
The death toll reached six, according to city council president Larry Reid, who said he was told the count by the police chief, before shortly reaching seven. Officials from a nearby hospital said they were treating a number of people from the shooting.
Watson said: “We are interviewing the witnesses right now to try to determine if this person is known to them.”
A spokeswoman for Highland Hospital said it had received five casualties. She was unable to say how many of them were dead, or to give any details about the condition of the injured.
Footage broadcast by the local ABC affiliate showed wounded people being brought out of the building, and more gurneys being taken in. The footage also showed bloodied victims on stretchers being loaded into ambulances.
Officers surrounded the building and a specialist Swat team went through the building room by room.
The suspect was described as a Korean man in his 40s with a heavy build and wearing khaki clothing.
“One of the people who was inside the building, she was saying there is a crazy guy inside,” witness Brian Snow told KGO-TV. “She did say someone got shot in the chest right next to her before she got taken off in an ambulance.”
Offices of a local newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, were locked down during the incident. After the lockdown was lifted, the paper updated a report on its website to quote Jong Kim, a pastor who founded the school about 10 years ago, as saying he heard about 30 shots. “I stayed in my office,” he said, imitating the sound of rapid gunfire.
A man who works in the IT department of the superior court of California, whose offices are near the scene, added, “A few people inside [our building] heard shots, and then there was a huge crowd outside.”
Several local media reports said that the suspect was detained nearby in the Alameda district. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape.
An English teacher at the school, Lucas Garcia, 33, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he heard shots down the hall from the room where he was teaching. “I looked outside the door and someone said, ‘Somebody has a gun,’” Garcia said. “So I evacuated the classroom.”
Angie Johnson, 52, told the Chronicle that she saw a young woman leave the building with blood coming from her arm and crying: “I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.”
The injured woman said the gunman was a man in her nursing class who got up and shot one person at point-blank range in the chest before spraying the room with bullets, Johnson said.
The Oakland tragedy comes just over a month after a student in Ohio opened fire in a high school cafeteria, killing three students in the deadliest shooting incident at a US high school in six years.
The identity of the 9-year-old tragically killed in this morning’s deadly rampage is Christina Taylor Greene.
Family says she was vibrant, excited about life, and she was the “best daughter in the world.”
Born on September 11, 2001, Greene was excited about the political process, was on the student government, and went to the Giffords event today to learn more about the political process, family members say.
Greene attended Mesa Verde Elementary School. She was the only girl on the CDO baseball team – she loved the sport, as well as horseback riding and swimming.
When Palin put crosshairs on a map w/ Rep. Giffords & 19 other Dem congressmen/women, she urged followers to “reload” & “aim” for Democrats.
Past photo of alleged Tucson shooter (in background) http://yfrog.com/h5oq9gj