UK cinemas ramp up safety measures following Batman shooting

By Cassie Chambers

Cinemas in the UK will implement new measures in response to the mass shooting that occurred at a Batman screening in the US.

A spokesperson for Odeon cinemas confirmed the chain will introduce "further operational procedures" to ensure that guests viewing the recently released popular film are kept safe.

"Odeon take the safety and enjoyment of their guests very seriously and in light of the recent incident that took place in the States at a screening of the Dark Knight Rises yesterday evening, Odeon will be continuing their vigilant safety measures and further operational procedures will be introduced to ensure a safe and quality service," the spokesperson said.

Vue cinemas said they were "liaising with the relevant authorities" in the UK to keep cinema-goers secure.

"‘Everyone at Vue Entertainment is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic incident that took place in Denver over in the United States," a spokesperson said. 

"Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of all those who have been killed and injured."

Labour leader Ed Miliband commented: "Absolutely horrified by Colorado shooting. Idea that trip to the cinema could turn into such tragic loss of life appalling."

The shooting occurred in Aurora Colorado, a suburb of Denver, shortly after midnight Thursday.

Eyewitnesses say the shooter entered the theater approximately 30 minutes into the midnight showing and tossed a canister into the crowd before opening fire.

Paul Otermat, who was in the theater when the shooting broke out told Sky News he "thought it was a publicity stunt," when the shooter first entered the room.

Another eyewitness, who was in the adjacent theater, told CNN he originally thought the shots were part of the movie next door.

"We heard anywhere from 10 to 20 shots and little explosions going on people screaming. Nobody thought anything of it then 30 seconds later," he said.

"As soon as they evacuated us we were hearing from friends inside Theatre 9 that he was wearing a gas mask and throwing tears gas at people. He wasn't trying to let anyone out."

Aurora police chief Dan Oats confirmed that at least fourteen people died in shooting, with dozens more injured.

"A cop came walking through the front door holding a little girl in his arms and she wasn't moving. I don't know whose little girl it was," an eyewitness told CNN.

"My heart goes out to her family and I hope they are ok, I hope she is ok and recovers. But I heard another witness in my theatre she was on phone she told whoever she was talking to said she saw bullet holes in the little girl's back."

The Aurora police chief confirmed that they have a suspect in custody, stating that a 24 year old man had been arrested outside the theater shortly after the shooting.

The suspect had a gas mask, a rifle, and a handgun in his possession, Oats said.

Upon arrest, the suspect indicated that he had more explosives at his home, which is located close to the theater.

The shooting, currently reported to be carried out by a single gunman, is not thought to be linked to organized crime or terrorism.