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Witnesses describe terror as gunman opens fire in movie theater



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"It was there in the parking lot that reality sunk in. There were so many lights, there was helicopters, police officers, people are literally being carried by other normal people like us," he said.

Later, the group kneeled and prayed.

At a glance

Victim updates

At least 12 people were killed and about 50 were being treated at Denver area hospitals after a shooting at a midnight showing of Batman, the youngest a 4-month-old baby who has been released.

Twenty-two people were at University of Colorado Hospital, including the baby, for gunshot and shrapnel wounds.

Many victims being treated in at least six hospitals were under 40, including a 6-year-old taken to Children’s Hospital Colorado. The oldest reported patient is 45.

Besides gunshot wounds, some patients at the Medical Center of Aurora were treated for chemical exposure, most likely from tear gas. Patients there ranged from 16 to 31.

An emergency room doctor at the University of Colorado Hospital says the scene was chaotic, with patients dropped off by police cars, ambulances and regular cars.

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Eric Hunter, 23, said it all started with smoke.

"There was smoke that came in. It had to be a smoke bomb because there was a significant amount of smoke that came in to the theater. Then the gunshots happened," he said.

He and his friends thought what they were hearing firecrackers that were part of the movie. So, they settled back to continue watching the movie for another 10 to 20 seconds before they heard several more shots.

"We knew something was wrong because people started getting up, moving out,"

Hunter said he and his friends made their way to an exit. When Hunter opened the door, he saw two teenage girls — one shot in the mouth and the other one crying.

Hunter said he was about to close the door when he saw the gunman, dressed in black, wearing what appeared to be a bullet proof vest, and a gas mask.

"He’s coming my way so I shut the door. So I hold the door for a little bit. He’s banging on the door for about 10 seconds,"


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Hunter said he was afraid gunman would shoot through door, so he let it go and managed to get out of the theater.

He said he and other people went back to the theater to help people evacuate but officials were urging people to leave.

Later, Hunter said police began entering the theater, asking people to hold their hands up as they evacuated the building.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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