Not knowing quite what to do in light of the early Friday shooting in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and dozens more injured, some theaters across the country started placing donation jars out to help those families affected by the attack.
Eleven theaters in the Los Angeles area, and likely many more, are asking patrons to donate spare change and dollars to the victims. During a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," James E. Holmes allegedly opened fire on a crowded theater at the Century 16 hitting more than 70 people with bullets.
"We've seen patrons consistently coming up, making donations," a spokesman for ArcLight Cinemas told The Hollywood Reporter. "The lobbies are quiet, but it's nice to see the community rally around and support this during these difficult times."
President Barack Obama, who has already commented on the shooting, is expected to make a trip to Aurora on Sunday to meet with victims and possibly visit the crime scene. As of now, the Century 16 remains closed, and will likely not open anytime before Wednesday. Investigators say they should be finished in the theater by Monday, according to CNN, and defense attorneys representing Holmes will likely wish to visit the site on Tuesday for its own evidence collection.
On Saturday, police said they have removed a majority of the booby traps and bombs that have filled Holmes' apartment, and are trying to collect evidence inside. So far, the efforts to clear the incendiary devices has been successful, allowing them to preserve a lot of potential evidence believed to be located inside. Officials said the booby traps were designed to kill even more people, especially law enforcement who would be looking to get inside.
Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates said it appears that Holmes had been planning the attack for months, receiving a bunch of deliveries of ammunition and other materials used to rig his apartment at both his home and business.
"What we're seeing here is evidence of, I think, some calculation and deliberation," Oates said. "We have the evidence of a deliberative process to commit this assault, and we have the evidence of a deliberative process in his mind to attack whoever opened the door of his apartment."
Holmes, who was captured by authorities at the theater, has yet to be charged with a crime. Police have refused to release his mug shot, saying that it was part of their investigation. They also refuse to confirm that he was caught with dyed-red hair, and claimed to be The Joker.
Although some reports say that the number of people hospitalized is down to 11, CNN says that there are still at least 26 people located in five surrounding hospitals, and that at least nine remain in critical condition.
Police won't talk about any potential motive for the shooting, but the media has described Holmes as a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience. He is 24. He was captured within minutes of the first emergency call to 911 in a rear parking lot, and apparently made a threat to one of the arresting officers.
"If you think we're angry, we sure as hell are angry about what has happened to our city, what has happened to these wonderful people who live here, and also what he threatened to do to one of our police officers," Oates said.
Aurora, a suburb of about 325,000 people, is located less than a half hour from Denver. It's the home of Buckley Air Force Base, which employs more than 12,000 people, and where some of the victims were from. It was an early childhood home of Tim Allen (who was born in nearby Denver), and also the birthplace of one of his "Home Improvement" co-stars, Zachery Ty Bryan, who played his youngest son in the series.
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