The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The shooting is the latest instance of social media being used to document a news event in real time. Tweets from movie goers ahead of show time tell the story of excited Batman fans. Smartphone videos uploaded to YouTube show the scene shortly after the shooting. Twitter and Facebook then show the response from those in attendance at the theater and those learning of the tragedy and reacting from all over the globe.
Messages sent over Twitter following the shooting read:
@DjaylaRene: I thank God I’m okay..I feel like I’m in a dream, & I’m shaking still
@Abenistar: I am getting ready to cry. So scared. I need a hug. I almost got shot 9 times. I had a chance to be like 50.
@YelowBrickRoad1: Everyone just please pray. Not only for Century 16 victims, but pray for this world.
Celebrities and pro-sports players weighed in on the tragedy all day. To read a list of their tweets, click here.
Among those believed dead in the Aurora shooting is an aspiring reporter and NHL blogger named Jessica Redfield. In June, Redfield was shopping in Toronto’s Eaton Centre minutes before a gunman opened fire, killing two and injuring six others. She wrote about the June 2 incident on her blog. In that post she describes going to the food court on a mission to eat sushi. Changing her mind, she grabbed a burger to go and left. Just minutes later gunfire rang out. She wrote, “But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day.”
To read more on the Eaton Centre Shooting, click here.
Just before the midnight showing Friday, Jessica was tweeting from the theater: @JessicaRedfield: Never thought I’d have to coerce a guy into seeing the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises with me.