Localities Respond to 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting

After at least a dozen people were killed in Aurora, Colo., Friday morning at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, law enforcement agencies across the country are working to prevent copycat crimes and ease the public's fears.
by | July 20, 2012
Los Angeles County Sheriff Calvillo, left, withholding toy guns from a Batman fan dressed as the character Two-Face, while waiting for the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo: AP/Damian Dovarganes)
 

After at least a dozen people were killed in Aurora, Colo., Friday morning at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises", state and local law enforcement across the country are looking to prevent copycat crimes and assuage a rattled public.

According to NBC 4 New York, the New York Police Department is planning to provide secruity at showings of the film across the city for the foreseeable future.

"As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing in the five boroughs," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.

Across the river, several police departments in Hudson County, N.J., said they would increase patrols around movie theaters over the weekend, according to the Jersey Journal.

Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier told NBC 4 Washington that her officers would be "paying close attention to the theaters through the weekend." Baltimore police are also planning an increase presence at theaters showing the movie, according to the Baltimore Sun.

After hearing about the Aurora shooting, the Los Angeles Police Department sent officers to local movie theaters to check for security issues, but none were found, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"There's nothing that suggests that there's anything sinister planned beyond what happened in Colorado," Sgt. Enrique Mendoza, watch commander of the LAPD Hollywood division, told the newspaper. "What happened in Colorado appears to be an anomaly, an isolated incident."

Marcus Theatres, which operates cinemas in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio, has said it will enhance its own security measures, according to TIME. Other theater chains may follow suit.

Much like the Trayvon Martin shooting, the Aurora tragedy is also already sparking a debate about gun control. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on a New York radio show that President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney need to explain their positions on the issue.

"You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country," Bloomberg said Friday morning, according to the Village Voice.

About 50 people were shot at the Aurora theater complex around 12:40 a.m. Friday during a first screening of the new Batman movie, according to news reports. At least 12 have died from their injuries. The Denver Post reports that police have a suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, in custody.

“This is not only an act of extreme violence, it is also an act of depravity," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "It is beyond the power of words to fully express our sorrow this morning."

MediaBistro has posted a link to the American Red Cross affiliate serving Aurora, which is accepting donations to aid the victims and the community.

Governing will add to this story as more state and local authorities respond to this morning's tragedy.

This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. Friday.

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