12 dead after movie theater shooting

Mass shooting at viewing of Dark Knight

AURORA, Colo. - ABC2 News has confirmed that the suspected gunman in the mass shooting inside a Colorado theater that left 12 people dead is from San Diego after our sister station spoke with his mother.

A San Diego woman identifying herself as the 24-year-old suspect, James Holmes's, mother spoke briefly with our Scripps sister station, KGTV-TV, this morning.

| Watch a LIVESTREAM of the shooting coverage here |

She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.

"You have the right person," she said, speaking on gut instinct.

"I need to call the police," she despaired. "I need to fly out to Colorado."

A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an explosive device and then fired into a crowded movie theater near the Aurora Mall, killing 12 people and injuring at least 38 others during a midnight opening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."

Police arrested a man next to a white car in the parking lot behind the theater. ABC News is reporting the suspect is a 24-year-old white man, James Holmes.

Moviegoers said they didn't know what was happening and some thought the attack was part of the show. Then they saw a silhouette of a person in the smoke at the front of the theater near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd.

Some of those injured are children, and victims are being treated for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman. The shooter, a man in his 20s, was arrested shortly after the attack, police said.

More than 250 police officers from across the metro area -- from Brighton to Jefferson County -- were called out to respond.

Ten people died in the theater, two more died at nearby hospitals. The Police Department previously released a preliminary number of 14 dead, but only 12 can be confirmed at this time. Approximately 59 total persons were shot, including the deceased, police said.

Witnesses told 7NEWS that the bullets were fired in theater 9, but bullets also pierced the nearby theater and injured moviegoers in that theater.

The entire parking lot around the Century 16 Movie Theaters was blocked off. There are 50 victim advocates to help the witnesses and talk to family members of the victims.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said there was no evidence of additional shooters. Though they are performing a full investigation to see if Holmes acted alone. Police also recovered several weapons from the scene. They know he used an AR-15, a shotgun, and a .40 caliber Glock. Another .40 caliber Glock was recovered from Holmes's car.

FBI spokesman Jason Pack said there's no indication in the investigation so far of any connection to terror groups.

There was no immediate word of any motive.

Holmes told police he had booby trapped his apartment. Investigators were outside the suspect's apartment in North Aurora and had evacuated other residents of the area, police said.

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