AURORA, CO (KUSA) -- After 12 people were shot and killed at the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center, a suspect was captured. There were at least 38 people injured, according to Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates.
An eyewitness spoke to 9NEWS Reporter Brandon Rittiman about the mass shooting, which happened in theater 9 during the premiere of the new Batman movie called "The Dark Knight Rises."
"It was a shootout scene," Alex Milano, who was in the movie theater next to the one where the shooting took place, said. "There were guns firing. Then, loud bangs came from the right of the theater. Smoke took over the entire theater and everything, and it was really thick. No one could really see anything."
Milano told Rittiman he and his sister thought the shooter was part of the movie.
"Me and my sister and my friends were wondering what was going on," Milano said. "Then, at that point, I saw something come through the wall. Multiple objects flew through the wall. I saw holes in the wall."
People slowly started to get up out of their seats and evacuate, Milano said.
"People stood up and started checking themselves," Milano said. "A couple of people were walking away, holding areas. I heard moaning like they were in pain. That's when I started to get worried."
Even at that point, Milano said there was mass confusion in the theater.
"We didn't really know something was happening until someone came [in] from the left entrance and told us we shouldn't go outside because there was a guy with a gun out there," Milano said.
Milano said he walked out of the theater and instantly smelled the tear gas bomb in the nearby theater.
"It was very thick, and it was choking me," Milano said. "I couldn't breathe at all. That's when the alarm started to sound, and that's when we knew things were serious. As soon as the alarm sounded, everyone stood up and started to make their way to the exit."
Milano said, at that point, he started to talk to witnesses who were in theater 9.
"I don't want to upset anybody by anything I say, but I don't think anyone should be kept in the dark about what happened," Milano told Rittiman. "The witness in theatre 9 was a young woman. I had asked her if she saw anything or if anything happened. What she described, at first, I didn't translate well because it sounded like madness to me. She said a man taller then her kicked through the door, and she said he was in a riot helmet. She said he had a bulletproof vest on. She said he was completely covered in black with guns. She said, after that point when she saw he was holding a gun, her and her boyfriend dropped to the floor and started to crawl to see if they could get away. They got up and started to run through the emergency exit. She said that when she turned around, all she saw was the guy slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing ... just picking random people."
Milano saw people coming out of the theater injured.
"I saw at least four or five people limping, wounded [and] slightly bloody," Milano said. "The most that I saw was a girl who was covered in blood, and she didn't have any wounds on her. It made me think the worst."
Milano says he also saw a little girl who looked extremely injured.
"A cop came walking through the door carrying a little girl in his arms and she wasn't moving. The really messed up part to me was [another witness] told whoever that she was talking to that she saw bullet holes in the little girl's back. I honestly can't think of any person who would intentionally hurt a little girl, so unfortunately, I think she just got caught in the crossfire."
Milano says his sister grabbed his arm and wanted to leave immediately.
"It was terrifying," Milano said. "As the older brother, you tell yourself over and over again, 'Don't lose your mind, don't lose your head. Keep calm and keep stress free so that you can help the ones who can't.' My little sister, unfortunately, was one of those. She was in tears, shaking, gripping as tight as she could to my arm and not letting go. Where I went, she wanted to be close to me. It is the scary thought that runs through your mind that you know you have to do everything you can do keep her safe, and at the same time you are worrying about everyone else."