The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan has expressed “profound sorrow” in response to the midnight shooting at a cinema in Denver, Colorado.
12 people were killed in the tragic incident, which took place at the Century 16 cinema complex in the suburb of Aurora on July 20. According to witnesses, suspect James Holmes appeared at the screening wearing a gas mask and set off an explosive device before opening fire on the audience.
Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew, Christopher Nolan said: “I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community.
“I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.”
He added: “The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”
Last night, a candlelit vigil was held for the victims of the shootings in Aurora. Hundreds of mourners gathered at the vigil where the Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquilla gave a blessing.
The French premiere of the film, which was due to take place yesterday, was cancelled as a mark of respect. The film’s stars, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and French actress Marion Cotillard had been due to give publicity interviews but these were also cancelled.
In a statement Warner Bros. said: “Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”
70 people were shot by suspect James Holmes, 24, a former University of Colorado medical school student. He will appear at Arapahoe County District Court, in Centennial Colorado, on Monday at 9am local time (3pm GMT).