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San Antonio woman among 12 killed in Aurora

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TWC News: San Antonio woman among 12 killed in Aurora
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Federal law enforcement officials say the suspect in Friday's deadly shooting in Colorado is James Holmes, a 24-year-old American.

Officials say 12 people were killed and 59 injured in the attack in a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo. Police said the suspect had an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols; they also believe he used a gas canister in the attack.

Officials say Holmes was wearing a bullet-proof vest, tactical-ballistic leggings, tactical-ballistic throat and groin cover, a riot helmet and a gas mask during the attack.

One of the victims of Friday's shooting was identified as Jessica Ghawi, who recently moved to Aurora from San Antonio. Her brother confirmed her death in a Twitter post this morning.

The Pentagon also says some members of the military were either killed or wounded at the theater.

At this time, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little says it's not clear how many military casualties there were or whether the victims were killed or just wounded.

The Defense Department says Holmes never served in the Army. He is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication the incident is tied to any terrorist groups.

Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until last month, spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said. She did not know when he started school or why he withdrew.

“Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time,” the studio said.

Oates says investigators are confident the gunman acted alone.

Police also say Holmes’ apartment four miles away was booby trapped. Oates described the scene as “active and difficult.”

Police say the apartment is laced with chemical and incendiary devices. They had to evacuate five buildings in the area and say it could take days to get into the apartment.

He says Holmes' car was parked in back of the theater.

Investigators say they’re receiving leads that span beyond Colorado, and they’re continuing to investigate the incident.

TWC News: San Antonio woman among 12 killed in Aurora
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To watch the President's full remarks on Friday morning's tragedy watch the video above.

Earlier: AURORA, Colo. -- A gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire early Friday morning at a suburban Denver theater. The incident happened at the opening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” The gunman killed 12 people and injured at least 50 others, authorities said.

Police say the gunman is 24-year-old James Holmes, and say he is in custody. Witnesses say the gunman stood at the front of the theater and fired into the crowd about 12:30 a.m. MDT at a multiplex theater in a mall in Aurora.

“Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference.

FBI spokesman Jason Pack said there's no indication of any connection to terrorism.

On ABC's “Good Morning America,” Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said he didn't know yet if all the injuries were gunshot wounds. He said some might have been caused by other things such as shrapnel.

Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said. Officers came running in and telling people to leave the theater, Salina Jordan told the Denver Post. She said some police were carrying and dragging bodies.

Officers later found the gunman near a car behind the theater. According to police, a gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon were found inside the vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody, but no name was released. Oates said there's no evidence of any other attackers. There was also no immediate word of any motive.

During the arrest, the suspect spoke of “possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing with that potential threat,” Oates said. Police evacuated other residents from a Denver-area apartment.

Oates did not say whether any explosives had been found. Police were able to secure the parking lot and the Century 16 Theater after the incident.

President Barack Obama said he was saddened by the “horrific and tragic shooting,” pledging that his administration was “committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded.”

Earlier Friday, moviegoers spoke of their terror as the violence erupted and people fell victim around them.

Benjamin Fernandez, 30, told the Post that he heard a series of explosions. He said people ran from the theater, and there were gunshots as police shouted “get down!” Fernandez said he saw people falling, including one young girl.

Salina Jordan, 19, was in Theater 8 and saw people hit in her theater. She said one girl was struck in cheek, others in stomach including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old. Jordan told police it sounded like firecrackers until someone ran into Theater 8 yelling “they're shooting out here!

Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he heard several shots.

“Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming,” he told the station. Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door, but then he saw “people hunched over leaving theater.”

According to Aurora Police Chief, 10 victims died at the theater and four at area hospitals. At least 24 people were being treated at Denver area hospitals.

KUSA reported some hospitalized victims were being treated for chemical exposure, related apparently to canister thrown by gunman.

Eleven people were being treated at the Medical Center of Aurora for gunshots and ranged from minor to critical condition. Two others walked in to be treated for tear gas contamination. Denver Health had seven victims, one in critical and the rest in fair condition. The youngest victim reported was a 6-year-old being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were taken. Their condition wasn't known. Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish Medical Center, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said.

Aurora is on Denver's east side and is Colorado's third-largest city with 327,000 residents. It is home to a large Defense Department satellite intelligence operation at Buckley Air Force Base, as well as The Children's Hospital, the University of Colorado Hospital and a future Veterans Affairs hospital.

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