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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Aurora Issues Report|on Movie Massacre

AURORA, Colo. (CN) - Emergency officials could have communicated better after 12 people were killed and dozens wounded during a massacre at a Colorado movie theater during a Batman movie, according to a report prepared for the city of Aurora.

Aurora released the 188-page report on Oct. 8. It discusses what went wrong and what went as well as can be expected after the July 20, 2012, bloodbath.

Police claim James Holmes, now 26, opened fire on a crowd during a midnight premiere of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century 16 Theaters in Aurora. Twelve people died and 58 were injured.

Release of the report was delayed due to a court-imposed gag order on information connected with the case.

The document focuses mostly on the city and other emergency personnel's response. It praises the police's rapid response time and the fact that every victim with survivable and serious wounds was rapidly given medical attention.

The first police unit responded in 2 minutes, and several more responded within 3 minutes.

However, the report also states that police and firefighters did not know how to handle the large number of victims and frightened people coming out of the theater and that there needs to be one command center for such shootings in the future.

According to the one-paragraph conclusion to the executive summary: "While there are things to improve, as is always found in hindsight, the City of Aurora should be proud of its response to the largest civilian shooting in U.S. history, and the largest mass casualty incident in Aurora's history. To repeat the key point, the outcome could not have been better in terms of lives saved and a rapid arrest. The neighboring jurisdictions and federal agencies, especially the FBI, provided excellent, timely assistance in force. The City is aware of the lessons learned, and has already taken measures to implement changes. It is hoped that the findings and recommendations will be useful to other jurisdictions as well."

Holmes' trial is set for Dec. 8.

Prosecutors indicated they will seek the death penalty.

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