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Batman shooting: 14 dead, suspect held

 Denver, Colorado - Police have arrested a suspect in a shooting in a suburban Denver movie theatre in which 14 people were killed, and there was no evidence of a second gunman, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said on Friday.

Media reports said 10 people died at the scene and four died later in hospital after a masked gunman opened fire at a showing of new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Police officers took witness statements outside a move theatre in Aurora, Colorado following an early morning shooting. Credit: AP

Dozens of police were at the scene, and the authorities evacuated the area while they checked if there was an explosive device in the area.

Denver's' KOA radio station said a figure in a gas mask had opened fire at the showing in a mall and set off a smoke or tear gas bomb.

CNN quoted one witness as saying he saw a “guy slowly making his way up the stairs and firing, picking random people”.

It said local hospitals were alerted to a “mass casualty incident”. Media reports said 10 people died at the scene and four died later in hospital.

A spokeswoman for Denver's Swedish Medical Centre said three people had been admitted to that hospital with gunshot wounds and were in critical condition.

Another hospital, Denver Health, had received six wounded, one of whom was in critical condition, spokeswoman Kalena Wilkinson said.

A witness told CNN: “We heard anywhere from 10 to 20 shots and little explosions going on. Shortly after that we heard people screaming. Then they came on PA system and said everyone needed to get out.

“As soon as we got out, there were people running around and screaming.” He said friends had told him the gunman was wearing a gas mask.

Another witness said the gunman opened fire during a shoot-out scene in the movie, leading to confusion. The theatre also filled with thick smoke, he said. - Reuters

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