‘dark knight’ shooting spurs increased security at new york screenings

In the wake of the deadly shooting spree at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, police in New York are increasing security at theaters showing the film as a precaution.

According to NBC 4 in New York, NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement on Friday (July 20) morning that the move was in response to the actions of suspected shooter James Holmes, 24, who opened fire in the Century 16 movie theater, killing 12 and wounding at least 38. The father of one of the victims, a six-year-old girl, confirmed that his daughter was among the dead.

“As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is playing in the five boroughs,” Kelly said.

At press time there were no indications that other cities were increasing security. Holmes was arrested behind the theater and was taken into custody without incident and, according to reports, he is not currently cooperating with police.

Shortly before President Obama addressed the nation about the tragedy from a previously planned campaign event in Ft. Myers, Florida, asking for a moment of silence for the victims and those wounded, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to respond to the incident and detail their plans to improve gun control.

In his weekly radio address, Bloomberg said that “soothing words are nice,” but that he wanted to hear both candidates “stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about it [gun violence].” Romney and his wife, Ann, also released a statement about the incident, as did Warner Bros., the studio behind the film. Neither Romney nor Obama made any mention specific mention of gun violence in their statements.

Bloomberg is at the forefront of a coalition of American mayors who support tighter gun laws, lobbying for stronger enforcement of existing laws meant to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from buying weapons. Fox News reported that Holmes did not have a concealed weapons permit or hunting license and had no connection to the military or arrest history.

Holmes’ mother told an ABC affiliate that she was certain police had the right suspect. At press time, officials were cautiously evacuating the area around Holmes’ apartment after discovering that it was meticulously booby trapped.