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News guide to mass shooting atColorado theater

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Here's a guide to some key questions
in the wake of the mass shooting at a
Colorado movie theater during a
showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." Q: WHAT HAPPENED? A: Shortly after midnight Friday, a
former graduate student wearing a
gas mask set off a gas canister and
fired into a crowded theater in the
Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo.,
killing 12 people and injuring nearly 60 others, authorities said. The
suspect was taken into custody and
identified by federal law enforcement
officials as 24-year-old James Holmes.
Authorities did not release a motive.
The FBI said there was no indication of ties to any terrorist groups. ___ Q: WHO IS THE SUSPECT? A: Holmes was studying neuroscience
in a Ph.D. program at the University of
Colorado-Denver. He enrolled in the
program in June 2011 and was in the
process of withdrawing, though it
wasn't immediately clear why he was leaving. Holmes graduated from high school
in the San Diego area. Police in San
Diego read a statement from family
members in which they said their
hearts go out to those involved. The
family said they're cooperating with authorities in San Diego and Aurora,
and are trying to process everything. Tom Mai, a man who lives next door
to the family, described Holmes as a
loner and said the mother told him
Holmes couldn't find a job after
earning a master's degree from a
public university in California. ___ Q: WHAT IS GOING ON AT HOLMES'
APARTMENT? A: Police said the third-floor
apartment was booby trapped, so
they've evacuated five surrounding
buildings and bomb technicians were
determining how to disarm flammable
or explosive material. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said
pictures from inside the apartment are
fairly disturbing and the devices look
to be sophisticated. The apartment is about four miles
from the theater. ___ Q: ARE MOVIE THEATERS STILL
SHOWING THE FILM? A: Yes, though theaters and police
increased security. Some fans were
nervous about going to see the film,
but many others were undeterred by
the tragedy. Two police officers were stationed
outside the AMC theater in New York's
Times Square, which had showings
beginning every 20 minutes Friday.
Later in the day, the officers gave way
to a police cruiser that was parked out front with an officer in it. At the
Regal Gallery Place multiplex in
downtown Washington, theater
employees searched patrons' bags
and purses while taking their tickets. ___ Q: WHO WAS HURT IN THE THEATER? A: Many victims treated at hospitals
were under 40, including a 4-month-
old baby and 6-year-old. The oldest
reported patient was 45. Victims were treated for chemical
exposure, apparently related to
canisters thrown by the gunman, and
gunshot and shrapnel wounds. The Pentagon said some members of
the military were either killed or
wounded in the shooting, though it
wasn't clear exactly how many. ___ Q: WAS THERE ANY LINK BETWEEN THE
SHOOTING AND MOVIE'S PLOT? A: It's unclear. In "The Dark Knight
Rises," a masked villain leads a
murderous crew into a packed
football stadium and wages an attack
involving guns and explosives. But
violent attacks on the public by villains are key components of most
superhero movies. There are general parallels to the
shooting, "The Dark Knight" and the
comic book character. Bruce Wayne's
drive to become Batman arose from
witnessing the deaths of his parents
at the hands of small-time criminal who shot and killed them after they
had left a movie theater. The Batman
video game called "Arkham City"
takes place in an abandoned movie
theatre, and in the third issue of DC
Comics' "Batman: The Dark Knight," a gritty retooling of the Batman
character, the Joker kills an entire
late-night TV audience with gas. ___ Q: WHEN WAS THE LAST MASS
SHOOTING IN THE U.S.? A: The massacre in Aurora was one of
the deadliest in the U.S., and the worst
mass shooting in the U.S. since the
Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood,
Texas, when an Army psychiatrist
killed 13 soldiers and civilians and more than two dozen others
wounded. In Colorado, it was the deadliest
shooting since the Columbine High
School massacre on April 20, 1999,
when two students opened fire at the
school in the Denver suburb of
Littleton, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others
before killing themselves.