Military Members Among Colorado Shooting Casualties, DOD Says
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2012 – Pentagon officials have confirmed at least one sailor and two airmen to be among the casualties in a mass shooting that took place early today during the midnight premier of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo.
Twelve people were killed and at least 59 were injured when a lone suspect fired rounds from multiple weapons.
“One sailor was injured and one, known to have been at the theatre that evening, is currently unaccounted for,” said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, adding that two airmen were also injured in the incident. “The Navy and the Air Force are working with the families of these service members to ensure they have the care and attention they need.”
Pentagon officials also confirmed that the alleged gunman in this incident, James Holmes, is not a past or current member of any branch or component of the U.S. armed forces.
“The Department of Defense is deeply saddened by the news of the tragic incident at the Aurora Mall Movie Theater in Aurora, Colo.,” Little said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those impacted by this event.”
The president and vice president have each released statements regarding the incident.
“We’re still gathering all the facts … but what we do know … police have one suspect in custody,” President Barack Obama said in his statement. “We're going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time. The federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”
The president said he has spoken with the mayor of Aurora and the governor of Colorado to express his condolences.
Vice President Joe Biden also offered words of support.
“It is every parent’s worst nightmare to receive ‘that phone call’ and to sit by their child’s bedside, praying,” Biden’s statement said. “Our hearts go out to each and every person who is suffering right now as a result of this terrible event. The prayers of an entire nation are with the victims and their families.”