Police in Aurora, Colo. are still investigating a shooting that left at least 12 dead and injured about 38 more at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in suburban Denver on Friday morning. The gunman reportedly offered no resistance when he was arrested at the multiplex this morning, and he is now in custody. A motive has not been revealed.
Senator Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), released the following statement regarding the tragic shooting: "We share the shock and sadness of everyone in the motion picture community at the news of this terrible event. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy."
Warner Bros., the studio that is distributing the film, also issued an official statement today: "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."
The studio has canceled tonight's Paris premiere of "The Dark Knight." Stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Morgan Freeman and director Christopher Nolan, who appears on the cover of the current issue of Back Stage, have not yet commented on the news. Their scheduled interviews with the French press have also reportedly been canceled.
UPDATE: In a statement released by his publicist today, Nolan called the mass shooting a "senseless tragedy" and shared his sorrow that the "joyful pastime" of watching movies has been violated so violently.
"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community," Nolan said. "I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) has also released a statement, regarding security measures at movie theaters:
“On behalf of all the members and staff of the National Association of Theatre Owners, our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this despicable act and their families. We are grateful for the quick and effective response by police and emergency personnel. Guest safety is, and will continue to be a priority for theater owners. NATO members are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures.”