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Police to Keep Eye on Area Cinemas

White Plains Police will be working to ensure safety and peace of mind for local moviegoers in the wake of a deadly shooting during a screening of 'Batman: The Dark Knight Rises' in Colorado.

Police will keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary at in White Plains in the wake of a Colorado movie theater shooting early Friday morning that killed at least 12 people.

"If any information comes to light that is relative to our needs we will follow up on it," said White Plains Police Lt. Eric Fisher. Fisher added that given the location of the cinema in the heart of downtown, there is already a strong police presence there at all times. He said patrolmen have been made aware of the incident in Colorado.

"We are doing what we need to do to ensure the safety of the moviegoers," Fisher said.

Police departments all over the country are on alert after a gunman wearing a gas mask entered a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado—Denver suburb—during a midnight premier of 'Batman: The Dark Knight Rises'. The man threw a can of gas in the theatre and opened fire, killing at least 12 people and injuring as many as 50 others, according to reports.

Police quickly captured the suspected shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes. Police are saying Holmes was armed with a shotgun, an assault rifle, a handgun and body armor.

The shooting doesn't appear to have reduced ticket sales for the much-anticipated premier in White Plains. Both afternoon screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises" were already sold out at City Center Cinema by early afternoon. Justin—who declined to give his last name—said, while scary, the incident didn't keep him from going to the movies.

"It kind of clouded my judgment a little bit this morning," he said. "I still wanted to come check (the movie) out."

"It's horrible," he added. "My sympathy goes out to all of those people."

A manager at the cinema was unavailable to comment Friday afternoon.

While most of the region's cinemas remained busy Friday, area law enforcement told Patch they aren't taking any chances.

In Bedford, police are saying an increased presence at The Bedford Playhouse .

"Yes, we'll have increased visibility there, it's definitely on our radar," said Bedford Police Lieutenant Jeffrey Dickan. "Because of this tragedy, we're prepared to respond to any type of incident."

West of the Hudson, in Rockland County, Clarkstown Police are .

"The Clarkstown Police Department is asking the public to contact 911 immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious," said Sgt. Jo Anne Fratianni. 

West Nyack is home to the Palisades Center, which holds an IMAX theater that draws viewers from Rockland, Westchester and New Jersey. All the IMAX screenings for The Dark Knight Rises are sold out for today, and none have been cancelled, according to theater officials.

Port Chester Police told Patch they will be keeping an eye on the sprawling AMC Lowes Theater within the village.

In Putnam County, many screenings are drawing big crowds.

“[Moviegoers] are just excited to see the movie,” said Justin Occhino, a supervisor at the Route 52 theater in Carmel, said Friday afternoon. Occhino added that the movie theater has not been in touch with local authorities about increased police presence. 

According to , Holmes, the suspected Colorado shooter, is from the San Diego area town of Ranchos Penaquitos. Holmes holds a bachelor's degree in neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside, which confirmed his graduation from the school in spring of 2010.

The Huffington Post is reporting Holmes was a University of Colorado-Denver student pursuing a Ph.D in neuroscience. Ramona Patch's search of San Diego Superior Court shows Holmes has no local record—not even a traffic ticket, said Karen Dalton, a public affairs officer with the court.

The suspected shooter's family, who live in Rancho Penaquitos, released the following statement:

"Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. Our family is cooperating with authorities in both San Diego, California, and Aurora, Colorado. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy."

According to the Huffington Post, when the smoke began to spread, some moviegoers thought it was a stunt that was part of the "The Dark Knight Rises." They saw a silhouette of a person in the haze near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd and then shooting.

"There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger, a filmgoer in the theatre, told HuffPo. She added that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily, stopping only to reload. 

The shooting has prompted the Obama campaign to cancel a scheduled visit by the President to Iowa City, according to Iowa City Patch local editor Stephen Schmidt.

HuffPo reports that according to the local police, Holmes lives in an apartment in Aurora, approximately five miles from the Century 16 movie theater where he is believed to have gunned down moviegoers.

Hmmm July 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM
One sick bastard!

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