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Entries in The Dark Knight Rises (20)

Sunday
Jul212013

Aurora Theater Shooting Survivors Tie the Knot a Year Later

Comstock/Thinkstock(AURORA, Colo.) -- A young couple who survived the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting turned their worst night into their best day this weekend.

Eugene Han and Kirstin Davis tied the knot Saturday, exactly one year after the Colorado massacre that left a dozen people dead and more than 70 injured.

The couple got married at Village East Baptist Church in Aurora, where they were joined by other friends who also survived the shooting.

In an interview before the wedding, the couple said that the love and support of many along with their strong faith has helped them overcome a tragedy.

"Our faith is definitely a big part of this story," Han said. "Jesus saved me once because I accepted him, but then he saved me physically in the theater."

The Night of the Shooting

A year ago, Han, 21, and Davis, 22, didn't know if they would make it through the night.

The childhood friends who met in church in the fourth grade started dating three years ago. On the night of the shooting, the couple and three friends decided to go to the midnight showing of the new Batman movie.

Han was tired from a 12-hour day at his job at a medical supply company, but said he thought it would be fun to take Davis to her first midnight screening.

When they got to the theater, it was packed. The only place they could find five seats together was in the second row, close to the emergency exit that accused shooter James Holmes would soon enter through.

Han was so tired that he dozed off during the previews.

"When the movie started, I kind of woke up, but I woke up not to the movie, but more like something felt wrong to me but nothing was happening yet," Han told ABCNews.com. "I wasn't really sure what it was and kind of blew it off."

Soon after, he saw someone walk in through the exit door near them. The figure was only about 10 feet away in the dark theater.

"I've never seen anyone walk in an exit door," he said. "The next thing that worried me the most was seeing the gun strapped to his shoulder. The screen actually showed the outline of the gun."

Within moments, Han saw the person throw something into the crowd. He would later find out that it was a gas canister.

"I didn't even know what was going on at the moment. I thought it was a prank," Davis told ABCNews.com. "The next thing I know, I see red things coming out of the corner."

The "red things" were the little bursts of flame created by gunfire. Han threw himself to the ground and grabbed Davis.

"Next thing I know he's pulling me out of my seat and telling me, 'Don't move. Just stay still. Whatever you do, don't move," she said.

Han said he pushed Davis under the chairs and put himself between her and the shooter, who was spraying bullets into the crowd. Han got shot in the hip. His reflex was to lift his leg and then he got shot in the knee. He "saw pieces of flesh fly."

"The hip hurt more. The knee was more a through-and-through," he said. "I was kind of freaking out."
Then the shooting stopped and Han saw an opportunity, albeit a risky one.

"His gun jammed and I heard a clicking noise so I told her, 'If we leave, we need to leave right now,'" Han recalled.

The group of friends got up, with Davis supporting an injured Han. They decided to make a break for the emergency exit from where the gunman had entered.

"I just remember having my back towards the screen and looking up and down the hallway just a little bit," Davis remembered, right before locking eyes with the shooter. "He was looking up and he was looking at me."

She said the shooter had a mask on and his gun pointed down as he tried to un-jam it. Han saw Davis looking towards the gunman.

"He saw Holmes drop the gun he was working on and pull out another gun that he had on him," Davis said. "That's when God gave him strength to push us into the cubby hole."

The "cubby hole" was a small entryway between the theater and the exit. The group fell to the floor as the shooting began again. They made it out of the theater and ran as far and fast as they could, with adrenaline fueling the wounded Han.

He was treated in the hospital and has undergone physical therapy over the past year. Now, he's running again. Davis recovered from her minor injuries.

Nine months after the shooting, Han said he realized it was time to take the couple's relationship to the next level.

"We were still dating and I was planning on proposing even before [the shooting] but I never had the chance to," he said. "When the theater shooting happened, that's when I was like, I really need to do this because you don't know what's going to happen after tomorrow."

He proposed on April 9 while the couple was visiting South Padre Island in Texas. She said yes and he asked how she felt about getting married on the one-year anniversary of the shooting. Davis told him she had to think about it.

"I was kind of uncomfortable about the idea because I didn't think it was OK to take a bad day and turn it into a good day, so I had to really think about it," she said.

She thought about it and came to a conclusion about a half hour later.

"I think it would be a good date to have our wedding," she recalled saying. "That way we can make good memories and start a new chapter of our lives rather than allowing this memory from a year ago to stick with us every single year."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep242012

Colorado Shooting: Aurora Movie Theater Could Re-Open by New Year

Thomas Cooper/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- The site of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history could re-open as soon as the New Year.

The Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., has been shut down since July 20, when a gunman opened fire during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people and leaving 58 wounded.  

In August, the City of Aurora launched an online survey asking what should be done about the theater.  The majority of people who responded said they supported re-opening the theater.  Those results were passed along to Cinemark, the owner of the theater, with a letter from Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan.

“We believe that we are hearing, and indeed have heard for some time, a collective wish and desire for the theater to re-open,” Hogan said.  He added that he had consulted with victims, victims' advocates and community members about the decision.

Hogan asked for special provisions, including victim and survivor visitation, memorials and a possible change to the exterior appearance of the building to be considered.

Tim Warner, CEO of Cinemark, responded, saying the company would work with the city to determine the best way to re-open the theater.

“We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever,” he said.  “We hope the theater will be ready by the beginning of the New Year.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep142012

Obama Meets with Teen Wounded in Colorado Movie Theater Shooting

Joshua Lott/Getty Images(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- A 16-year-old boy severely wounded by a bullet that tore through his brain during the July 20 Aurora, Colo., theater massacre was well enough on Thursday to meet with President Obama.

Yousef Gharbi and his mother Amee met backstage with the president for a few minutes just before a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The president, Psaki said, was “in awe” of how Yousef is recovering.

“He’s up walking and talking and doing extremely well,” said Psaki, who spoke to reporters on board Air Force One as the president made his way from Colorado back to Washington, D.C.

On July 22, Yousef was in a hospital intensive care unit suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.  It was the same day Obama came to Colorado to meet with victims, families and first responders.

During that July visit, Psaki said Obama met Yousef’s mother Amee, telling her, “I hope when he’s recovered you’ll come back and see me when I’m back in town.”

On Thursday, Yousef and his mother did exactly that, apparently getting tickets to the campaign rally on their own, without any “special treatment” from the campaign, Psaki said.  The pair was recognized, she said, by campaign staff who helped arrange the short meeting with the president.

The Aurora theater shooting took place during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.  Twelve people were killed, and 58 were wounded.  Accused gunman James Holmes is in custody, facing multiple charges of murder and attempted murder.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep072012

James Holmes Predicted to Be a 'Leader in the Future'

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) -- Newly obtained records from the University of Alabama at Birmingham show that though suspected mass murderer James Holmes was declined admission to the school, one university staffer predicted Holmes would be "a leader in the future."

The documents further reveal a perplexing disconnect between a student who appeared to have remarkable academic ability, and the 24-year-old accused of the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes is charged with opening fire July 20 inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, murdering 12 people and injuring 58 others attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.  He has not entered a plea.

Records obtained Wednesday by ABC News from the University of Alabama showed that a letter to Holmes dated March 21, 2011, said, "We regret to inform you that you have not been recommended for admission."

One unidentified university staffer who met with Holmes for an interview wrote that he was an, "excellent applicant!  Great GPA and GRE scores."

Others were not as impressed.

"He may be extremely smart, but difficult to engage," wrote one.

Another noted: "His personality may not be as engaging as some applicants, but he is going to be a leader in the future."

College transcripts obtained Wednesday by ABC News showed that while attending the University of California Riverside, Holmes earned almost all "A" grades, graduating with "high honors" in June 2010.

In subjects including biology, chemistry, economics and Spanish, Holmes received "A+" grades that helped him earn a 3.94 GPA.

In one philosophy class taken in the winter of 2010, "Ethics and the Meaning of Life", Holmes got an "A."

According to at least one former associate, however, Holmes' apparent book smarts did not translate to real-world ability.

"He was not an exceptional mind," said John Jacobsen, a former researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., where Holmes was an intern in 2006.

Jacobsen recalled giving Holmes an experiment to be conducted on a computer.  According to Jacobsen, Holmes failed.

"He was a second-rate student.  Not very good at all," Jacobsen told ABC News.

A phone call to Holmes' attorneys -- who are under a strict court-imposed gag order preventing them from talking about the case -- was not returned to ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug132012

Most Colorado Shooting Documents to Remain Sealed

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- The judge overseeing the case of alleged mass murderer James Holmes has ruled that most of the documents generated during the investigation into the shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater will remain sealed for now.

The ruling is a defeat for media companies that sought to have the documents made public.

But Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester is allowing 34 selected documents to be released, including the “register of actions,” essentially an index of all court activity in the case so far.

Other documents that could shine new light on Holmes’ alleged motives or planning for the July 20 shooting rampage, such as affidavits, search warrants, subpoenas or arrest warrants, however, will remain secret.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued last week that releasing any documents now would compromise the ongoing investigation and deny Holmes his right to a fair trial. Media attorney Steve Zansberg argued last week that the public “is completely in the dark about what is going on in this judicial proceeding.”

Both sides are expected to square off Thursday at a hearing to determine whether a notebook that Holmes apparently mailed to University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton can be admitted as evidence or protected by doctor-patient confidentiality.

As ABC News’ Mark Greenblatt has reported, Fenton made contact with a University of Colorado police officer to express concern about her patient’s behavior in the weeks before the rampage.

In a separate order issued Monday, Judge Sylvester clarified that a gag order limiting pretrial publicity will remain in effect.

Prosecutors allege that Holmes opened fire at a crowded midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora. Twelve people were killed and 58 injured.

Holmes was charged July 30 with 142 counts in all, including first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Ohio Cop Busts Man with Gun, Knives at "The Dark Knight Rises" Screening

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WESTLAKE, Ohio) -- An off-duty police officer from Westlake, Ohio, is being credited for stopping what possibly had the makings of another Aurora, Colo., movie theater-style shooting spree.

The cop noticed that a man who was sitting in the back of one of the theaters at the Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park before last Saturday night's showing of The Dark Knight Rises had brought in a large satchel.

Westlake Police Lt. Ray Arcuri said that when the officer asked Scott Smith to open his bag, he discovered a loaded 9mm Glock handgun, multiple loaded magazines and three knives.

The cop, who was hired by the theater to provide extra security in the wake of the Aurora shootings, arrested Smith, who was later charged with one felony count of carrying a concealed weapon and one felony count of having weapons under disability because of prescription medications found at the suspect's home.  In addition, Smith was charged with four misdemeanor counts of carrying various weapons.

Besides the prescriptions, authorities say Smith also had more weapons at home, including six to eight pistols, rifles, shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police don't have a motive yet for Smith's actions.  Arcuri said Smith told investigators that he was unemployed and had been in the military, although they haven't confirmed whether he ever served in the armed forces.

Later, Smith’s attorney claimed that the entire incident was a misunderstanding because his client was merely trying to protect himself in case someone else decided to attack moviegoers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug062012

Exclusive: Psychiatrist for 'Dark Knight' Shooting Suspect James Holmes Contacted Police Before Massacre

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- The psychiatrist who treated suspected movie theater shooter James Holmes made contact with a University of Colorado police officer to express concerns about her patient's behavior several weeks before Holmes' alleged rampage, sources told ABC News.

The sources did not know what the officer approached by Dr. Lynne Fenton did with the information she passed along. They said, however, that the officer was recently interviewed with an attorney present by the Aurora Police Department as a part of the ongoing investigation of the shooting.

Fenton would have had to have serious concerns to break confidentiality with her patient to reach out to the police officer or others, the sources said. Under Colorado law, a psychiatrist can legally breach a pledge of confidentiality with a patient if he or she becomes aware of a serious and imminent threat that their patient might cause harm to others. Psychiatrists can also breach confidentiality if a court has ordered them to do so.

"For any physician to break doctor-patient confidentiality there would have to be an extremely good reason," said Dr. Carol Bernstein, a New York University psychiatrist and past president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Bernstein has no specific knowledge of the Holmes case and spoke in general terms.

"Confidentiality is a key part of the doctor-patient relationship," she said. "It is central to everything we do."

ABC news and affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver first reported Wednesday that Fenton had contacted other members of the university's threat-assessment team about her concerns. The university-wide, threat-assessment team reportedly never met to discuss Holmes after he announced his intent to withdraw from the University nearly six weeks before the July 20 shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured.

University of Colorado spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery declined to comment on what, if anything, the university police officer might have done with information provided by Fenton, citing a court-issued gag order preventing her from confirming or denying any information related to Fenton or the investigation.

In a written statement to ABC News, however, the university said campus police officers are "frequently involved" in meetings of the university's Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) team.

The statement went on to say that police involvement with threat assessment "could include security matters, badge access, background checks, wellness checks, criminal investigations and referrals and outreach to other law enforcement agencies."

An attorney for Fenton declined to comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug032012

Colorado Shooting: Schools in Aurora Getting Ready to Counsel Kids

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- When kids return to school from summer vacation in Aurora, Colo., next Thursday, they can expect something quite different from their usual first day of class.

School officials are mindful of the trauma many youngsters are likely still experiencing following the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.

As it happened, 50 teens from Gateway High School were at the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Returns when everything suddenly turned tragic.

In an effort to help worried parents, the district plans to bolster security at Aurora schools and have more counselors on hand to speak with youngsters who might be having a hard time dealing with their emotions.

In addition, a special crisis management committee has been organized that will answer concerns of students, staff and parents.

Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry stressed, "The message here is you're not alone, you have assistance. We will come out stronger in the end."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug012012

Psychiatrist Called Threat Team About James Holmes

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- Aurora, Colo., shooting suspect James Holmes came to the attention of the threat assessment committee at the University of Colorado but no further action was taken because he left the school more than a month before the attack that killed 12 and injured 58, sources told ABC News.

ABC News has learned that Dr. Lynne Fenton, the psychiatrist who was treating Holmes, 24, at the school, was also a key member of the university's threat assessment team. The group of experts were responsible for protecting the school from potentially violent students.

KMGH-TV, ABC News' affiliate in Denver, reported exclusively that, according to sources, by early June, Fenton had informed other members of the team about her concerns regarding Holmes.

But on June 10 -- three days after Holmes bought an assault weapon and added it to his already growing arsenal -- he suddenly told the university that he was dropping out of the neurosciences doctoral program with no explanation.

KMGH-TV reported last week that he'd purchased the weapon hours after failing a key oral exam.

On Monday, Holmes was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Each death carried two separate murder charges, one for showing premeditation and one for showing extreme indifference to life. Both of the charges carry the death penalty as a possible sentence.

Sources have told KMGH-TV that the threat assessment team never had a formal meeting and never intervened, believing that it had no control over Holmes once he'd left the university. Documents uncovered by ABC News show that Fenton also wrote the school's policy on threat assessment.

Michael Carrigan, chairman of the CU board of regents, told KMGH that he did not know if Holmes had ever been discussed by the threat assessment team. "It's the first I'm hearing about this," he said in a phone interview.

A CU spokeswoman declined comment to KMGH on Fenton or any BETA team actions, citing a gag order.

Don Elliman, the university's chancellor, said last week that "to the best of our knowledge, at this point, we did everything we think we could have done."

But experts said Wednesday that Holmes' departure should have been a red alert.

"You know, I think that's the signal that you should intensify your efforts, not walk away," said Barry Spodak, a threat assessment expert. "Under those circumstances, most well-trained threat assessment teams would have gone into action."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug012012

Colorado Shooting Document Altered Online

University of Colorado Denver/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- A court document filed last week by attorneys for accused mass murder James Holmes – revealing he was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia – has been altered online with that key information blacked out.

In the original version of the document posted Friday, public defenders said the 24-year-old Holmes “was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton and his communications with her are protected.”

However, the Colorado state court posted a new version online Tuesday, with the section describing Holmes’ relationship to Fenton blacked out.

The change was first reported by Jeremy Meyer at the Denver Post. Messages to two court spokesmen were not immediately returned to ABC News Wednesday.

The “communications” mentioned by the defense document refer to a notebook that Holmes mailed to Dr. Fenton that was seized by police from a university mailroom on July 23 before it could be delivered to Fenton.

Sources confirmed to ABC News the notebook may contain writings about Holmes’ alleged attack. Holmes’ attorneys argue the existence and contents of the notebook have been improperly leaked to the news media. They also contend the notebook is privileged between Holmes and Fenton, and should not be allowed in his criminal case.

Making the change now may be tough. The document was included in news reports around the world and unredacted clean copies of the motion are available all over the Internet.

Prosecutors say Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., on July 20. Twelve people were killed, 58 were injured. On Monday, Holmes was charged with 142 criminal counts, including first degree murder and attempted murder.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio