The Los Angeles Police Department knows of no specific threats to local theaters in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. shootings that took 12 lives and injured at least 70 people, reports the Los Angeles Times. However, the LAPD will increase police patrols around some cinemas as a precaution, and an unnamed source tells the Times that there is concern about a potential copycat crime.
"There's nothing that suggests that there's anything sinister planned beyond what happened in Colorado," Sgt. Enrique Mendoza said to the Times. "What happened in Colorado appears to be an anomaly, an isolated incident."
On the studio side, Warner Bros. canceled the Paris premiere of the film and is wondering if they should cancel screenings nationwide in the wake of the massacre. The Wrap reports that the studio gathered executives to their Burbank offices as soon as the shootings happened to wrestle with the issue, and that decisions will be made Friday and throughout the weekend after monitoring the news and conferring with theater chains.
For now, the only thing that Warner Bros. has pulled is a trailer for "Gangster Squad" that preceded screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises." The trailer, which contains a scene in which a gangster shoots up a movie theater audience, is being replaced with another commercial nationwide, reports Deadline.
In response to HuffPost's Twitter query about whether the shooting will change anyone's weekend plans to see "Dark Knight," some Angelenos responded that fear wouldn't factor into any personal decisions about the movie.
@HuffPostLA If you don't go, you let terror win.
— Yoni Riemer (@YoniRiemer) July 20, 2012
@HuffPostLA No second thoughts! I will still go watch "Dark Knight" tonight. We can not let fear take over b/c of what happened in Aurora.
— ivette c (@icee_stang) July 20, 2012
But one person thought Friday's screenings should be cancelled in a show of respect for the victims in Colorado. "I think out of respect for the fans that were killed, tonight's show should be cancelled," tweeted Jane Hartrick.
UPDATE: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement Friday expressing sympathy for the Aurora, Colo. victims and their families. He also called for the need for a federal ban on assault weapons and announced that all flags at LA facilities will be lowered to half-mast until July 25 in remembrance of the 12 lives lost.
Here's his statement in full:
In the wake of the senseless and terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, on behalf of the residents of Los Angeles, I offer my thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences to the victims and the families affected by this horrific crime. It is truly a sad day in America.
Though we don’t have all the details yet, we know that 70 innocents were shot by a gunman with access to a high-powered assault rifle and other weapons that wrought havoc and death on a crowd full of people simply hoping to enjoy a night at the movies.
Now more than ever we need to address issues surrounding the proliferation of assault weapons in American society. It’s beyond time for the political leaders of this nation, in a bipartisan fashion, to make it wholly more difficult to own assault weapons—guns that have no rational place in our communities.
It’s time for the federal government to again ban these weapons, just like California enacted the nation’s toughest law against assault weapons nearly two decades ago. It’s time for nationwide background checks and waiting periods so guns don’t fall into the wrong hands—criminal hands—only to be used against innocent victims in everyday crimes as well as mass murders. Our lawmakers need to come together and do more than just talk about the pain and sorrow in the aftermath of these gun violence tragedies. They need to act. They need to take a stand.
As we mourn the loss of life and the pain and tragedy that is now a presence in so many lives, I have ordered all flags at Los Angeles City facilities to be flown at half-staff until July 25 in honor and remembrance of the lives so senselessly lost today.
For Friday's screenings, the LAPD will provide both high-visibility patrols and undercover surveillance at theaters and other crowded venues across Los Angeles.
“I am outraged by the cowardly attack on innocent movie patrons in Colorado last night" said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those innocent victims."
Beck also pleaded for all Angelenos to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
"Since Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, it is important that we all remain vigilant and do everything we can to prevent incidents like this from occurring in our communities," said Beck. "Remember, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.”