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.”
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Check the live blog below for updates.
07/22/2012 8:48 PM EDT
Obama Speaks After Meeting With Victims
@ HuffPostPol :
Obama: Scripture says that he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more...
@ HuffPostPol :
Obama: We can all understand what it would be like to have someone that we love taken from us in this fashion
@ HuffPostPol :
Obama: I also had the chance to give folks some hugs and to shed some tears ... and also to share some laughs.
07/22/2012 8:30 PM EDT
Columbine Survivors Reach Out To Victims
The AP reports:
The images brought it all back for survivors of the 1999 Columbine massacre. The blood. The tears. The confusion and the heartache, the elusive search for a reason why.
Paralyzed in the Columbine shootings, Anne Marie Hochhalter, now 30, says friends still reach out to alert her to prepare for disturbing images on the news. She got a text message Friday morning when she woke up. Warning, it said. There was another one, this time close to home.
Hochhalter took a deep breath and turned on the TV.
"My heart just fell," Hochhalter said Sunday. "It brought back a lot – flashbacks from that day. At the time I was so hurt I wasn't watching the news, you know, watching it like other people were. But this time, I was right there, seeing it all."
Columbine students who survived what in 1999 was the worst school massacre in U.S. history are re-living their own experiences. And they're banding together to try to help. On Facebook and by phone, they are reaching out to people who witnessed Friday's early-morning slayings of 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora.
Young people were victims and witnesses in both shootings. The Columbine survivors are telling those at the movie theater that the road ahead of them won't be easy.
Click here to read more.
07/22/2012 8:29 PM EDT
Campaign Ads Off The Air
President Barack Obama's re-election team, maintaining an unofficial time-out on full-scale campaigning following a deadly shooting at a movie theater, said on Sunday it will keep its advertisements off the airwaves in Colorado for the rest of the week.
Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney both set aside the previously harsh tone of the November 6 election campaign to speak soothingly to the nation on Friday, after the shooting rampage that killed 12 at a midnight movie screening outside Denver.
Click here to read more.
07/22/2012 7:57 PM EDT
More On Obama's Visit
@ JordanGhawi :
Sat down with President Obama. He has been incredible. He too has agreed not to mention the shooter's name.
07/22/2012 6:23 PM EDT
Obama Lands In Colorado
The AP reports:
President Barack Obama dashed to Colorado on Sunday to meet with families of those gunned down in a movie theater and to hear from state and local officials about the shooting that left 12 people dead and dozens more injured.
Air Force One touched down at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora late Sunday afternoon for the president's hastily arranged 2 1/2-hour visit, which includes a private meeting with the victims' loved ones and perhaps a public comment about the shooting early Friday morning at a busy multiplex.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates were among those who greeted Obama at Buckley.
The president is expected to speak at 7:30 p.m. ET.
07/22/2012 6:20 PM EDT
Shooting Suspect Reportedly Not Cooperating
@ BreakingNews :
Police in Aurora, Colo. say shooting suspect James Holmes is not cooperating with authorities - @SkyNewsBreak
07/22/2012 12:49 PM EDT
First Video Of Shooting Suspect Emerges
ABC on Sunday aired a clip of shooting suspect James Eagen Holmes. The clip showed Holmes discussing the idea of "temporal illusion" at science camp when he was 18.
"It's an illusion that allows you to change the past," he says.
To watch the video, click here.
07/22/2012 12:31 PM EDT
Shooting Victims Identified
Authorities have identified the 12 victims who were killed early Friday morning in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting.
The deceased included an aspiring sports reporter, a 6-year-old girl and a man celebrating his birthday.
For more about the victims, read the AP's report.
07/22/2012 12:22 PM EDT
LISTEN: Graphic Audio Of Colorado Shooting Aftermath
Audio of the first hour of the police and fire response to the Colorado shooting was made available this weekend via RadioReference.com.
To listen to the recordings, click here (warning: extremely graphic content).
07/22/2012 9:10 AM EDT
Official: Suspect's Gun Reportedly Jammed During Attack
James Holmes' gun jammed during the attack, a law enforcement source told the Associated Press.
The claim was made based on leftover bullets found in a magazine at the crime scene, the official said. The jam likely caused the suspect to change weapons in the middle of the attack.
More on this story here.