Victims As Young As Six Reported
12 people are dead and an estimated 50 more have been wounded by a lone gunman shooting randomly into the premiere of the “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises”Â movie minutes after midnight in a Colorado multiplex, according to multiple reports. The assassin, who first threw a teargas canister into the theater he reportedly accessed from an outside exit, was subdued and taken into custody by police after a call at 12:39 AM local time. Ten people died at the Century Aurora 16 multiplex theater in Aurora, Colorado, and four died at or on the way to the hospital.
UPDATE: NBC reports the gunman James Holmes, born 12/13/87.
“Witnesses said gunman wore a gas mask and was clad in black,” the Denver Post reported:
A witness, Benjamin Fernandez, 30, said he was watching the movie when he heard a series of explosions. He said that people ran from the theater and there were gunshots as police shouted ‘get down!”
Frenandez 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 said it sounded like firecrackers until someone ran into Theater 8 yelling “they’reÂ shooting out here!”
The police came running in, telling people to run out. Some police were carrying or dragging bodies, she said.
Robert Jones, 28, was in Theater 9 when the shooting started.
Jones said when he first saw smoke billowing from the front of the theater, he thought it was a special effect. Shots rang out almost immediately after.
“I thought it was pretty much the end of the world,” Roberts said.
Roberts stayed flat on the ground until police came into the theater.
Tammi Stevens said her son, 18-year-old Jacob Stevens, was inside Theater 9 when the shooting started. Stevens was waiting for her son at Gateway High School while police interviewed him.
Jacob told his mom that he saw a guy walk into the theater wearing body armor and throw some sort of cannister that then emitted some sort of gas.
“You let your kids go to a late night movie…you never think something like this would happen,” Stevens said.
Aurora, a Denver suburb, is about 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado — site of the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
In that incident, two teenage students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, armed themselves with guns and bombs and opened fire inside the high school. They killed 13 people and wounding 23 others before killing themselves.
Editor’s note: This report has been updated to reflect the change in the number of reported dead from 14 to 12.
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Experts Destroy ‘Historically Loathsome’ Lindsey Graham for Urging Schumer ‘Dismiss’ Impeachment So Nation Can ‘Heal’
Legal and political experts are responding to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s Sunday letter to incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with disgust and anger. Graham, an unwavering and unyielding devotee of President Donald Trump, slammed Democrats and those who support convicting Trump in a Senate trial after the House’s historic second impeachment of the outgoing president.
In his letter Graham argues against convicting Trump for incitement of insurrection in part because Vice President Mike Pence “stood in the breach of unconstitutional calls for him to overturn the 2020 election.” Those unconstitutional calls came from President Trump. His insurrectionist supporters then went to the Capitol hunting for the vice president, chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
He also says convicting Trump would delay “the healing of this great nation.” Experts call that argument false, and say that holding Trump to account is the only way for the nation to heal.
The response to Graham’s letter was immediate, and on social media few held back their punches.
“We are witnessing the largest under-reaction to a violent insurrection led by a sitting president in the history of humankind, folks,” said Condé Nast Legal Affairs Editor and Research Director Luke Zaleski. “It’s cause the Republican Party/trump are experts at one thing: Denying the premise of reality and convincing people anti-government is government.”
“No incitement is the new ‘no collusion,'” Zaleski continued. “A goalpost being moved. Trump fomented a riot that served as a coup attempt. It was likely planned and it was definitely encouraged. It was for him. It was to stop his loss. It was organized and spontaneous and stochastic. It was violent.”
Popehat, the popular law blog run by Ken White, tweeted a more succinct response.
You’re a historically loathsome figure.
— LightlyThreatenHat (@Popehat) January 17, 2021
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent suggests Graham is engaging in extortion:
Again, this is basically extortionate: Sorry, no unity until the demands for accountability are dropped. The answer to this is “No. You are the ones who have committed the offense. You don’t get to set one-sided conditions for unity after what you did.” https://t.co/uunuZVA9RC https://t.co/N6FfE6Eeo6
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 17, 2021
Former Obama HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary boils that thought down even further:
This is a threat https://t.co/P7OaV7mly4
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) January 17, 2021
Historian Michael Beschloss:
Lindsey Graham, we don’t need any lecture from you about whom “history” will treat “harshly.”
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 17, 2021
If foreign conquerors were marching into Washington DC, Lindsey Graham would probably be out there directing traffic.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 17, 2021
Historian Kevin M. Kruse:
You don’t get to whine about “healing” now after you personally inflicted so many of the wounds.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 17, 2021
Democratic strategist and professor Tom Watson:
You just blamed Speaker Pelosi for her own attempted murder. You’re filthy garbage. https://t.co/4snvpoCqOc
— Tom Watson (@tomwatson) January 17, 2021
Economist and Dartmouth professor Danny Blanchflower:
Sorry Senator how is Trump healing the nation when a) he refuses to accept he lost b) wont go to the inauguration c) wont meet with the new president d) incited a violent bloody insurrection and riot that killed people? https://t.co/Ssu8vWr9zL
— Danny Blanchflower PhD DLitt (*2) DSc CBE (@D_Blanchflower) January 17, 2021
Yale professor Howard Forman:
Can someone find Lindsey Graham’s similar letter begging his Senate colleagues to NOT commit seditious acts? Or his letter to Trump begging him to accept the results of the free and fair election?
I am having trouble finding it. https://t.co/Ub5N6Dy8ee
— (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) January 17, 2021
Rand Paul Slammed for ‘Breathtaking Political Cowardice’ Over Fear of Impeaching President
In his column for the conservative Bulwark, former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) over comments he made in an interview where he expressed worries that the Republican Party would lose a substantial number of voters if they voted to impeach the president for sedition.
In the interview, Paul stated, “I didn’t agree with the fight that happened last week. I voted against over-turning the election. But at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion. If Republicans go along with it, it will destroy the party. A third of the Republicans will leave the party.”
According to Miller, Paul’s admission was a stunning display of cowardice.
“The preponderance of failures by Republican elected officials over the last two months, and especially over the last two weeks, are due to purely political calculations. They can’t engage in a War on Terror against people they believe are their own voters,” Miller wrote. “The political cowardice here is breathtaking. Imagine thinking that one-third of your constituents were terrorist sympathizers and not attempting to do something about it. But while this Republican cowardice shouldn’t be excused, at least you can understand it.”
According to Miller, Republicans have been the do-nothing party for the past year, failing to hold any confirmation hearings and leaving the country leaderless.
GOP Lawmaker Says Black People Are Glad Their Ancestors Were Brought Over as Slaves
Terry Jones, a Republican lawmaker in North Dakota, has submitted a bill that would require state forms to list “American” as a racial choice option because he’s “disgusted” with how race is used by bad actors to divide the country, he says.
In trying to explain how his bill would unite Americans by focusing “on commonalities rather than differences,” he told the press that “citizens of all backgrounds are proud to be American,” adding that Black Americans are “glad their ancestors were brought here as slaves.”
InForum reports: “Jones said he believes in this sentiment because he read a Reader’s Digest article from the 1980s in which a Black doctor visited an African country during a period of civil conflict and made remarks about being grateful that his ancestors had been taken to America. Forum News Service’s attempts to find the article were unsuccessful.
Jones’ ignorant comment are just part of a long history of racist lawmakers saying that people of color should be grateful for their ill-treatment in this country just because it’s better than living in poorer nations — hardly an endorsement of great living under the American system.
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