One of the witnesses to a mass shooting in an Aurora movie theater says the shooter "looked like an assassin ready to go to war."
Nineteen-year-old Jordan Crofter was sitting on the left side of the theater and toward the front when the door swung open and a silhouette appeared in front of the street lights.
He says the shooter was calm and almost strutted in, then pulled up his rifle and started shooting, stopping only to reload -- like "shooting fish in a barrel."
Crofter says he was the first one in the lobby and when the manager asked what was going on, he yelled, "Bomb."
The gunman killed 12 people and injured 50 during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Witnesses told 7NEWS they first thought the sounds of gunfire were part of the movie.
"The shooting happened during a battle scene on screen, so it took some time to realize that is wasn't part of the special effects," one witness told 7NEWS.
Aurora police said 10 people died in the theater and two died at local hospitals. More than 50 more people were treated at local hospitals.
Police arrested a suspect in the parking lot of the theater. ABC News is reporting that he is 24-year-old James Holmes.
A witness told 7NEWS the gunman walked in toward the front of the theater and fired into the back.
"Everybody thought it was fireworks," said Chris Jones, one of the people in Theater 9 where the shooting happened.
Jones said he didn't see the gunman, he only saw a spark in the corner of the theater.
Jones said he thought it was someone playing around. After he realized it wasn't stopping and people were screaming, he dove to the ground.
"The lights never came on," Jones said. "When the shooting cleared, we just ran. When we got outside, it was chaos."
Jones said he heard 20 to 30 rounds in a minute or two.
Kevin and Brittany told 7NEWS they were in the back of theater when the shooting happened.
Brittany said she saw some sort of canister going off in the air.
"I saw the smoke trail behind them and I wasn't sure what was going on," Brittany told 7NEWS. She said she heard the gunshots after that.
Kevin said he saw flashes of light coming from a silhouetted person in a corner shooting.
"He was shooting really fast, really consistently," said Kevin.
"There were lots of kids, families there," Brittany said. "All those people were just innocent people watching a movie."
Chris Jones sent 7NEWS a photo of his movie ticket. Chris wrote, "This my ticket, I was in theatre 9 and I'm alive thanks to my heavenly father."
Bullets Went Through Wall Into Second Theater
Zackary Golditch was shot in the neck in the theater next door.
"I actually thought it was fireworks, like a Black Cat," said Golditch. "My thought was to get out of the theater. I didn't want to get hit with another one."
Golditch said he walked down the street and some nearby construction workers helped him out. When police officers arrived, one of them took Golditch to the hospital where he was treated and released.
Laurie was also in the theater next door when the shooting started.
"There was a shooting scene in the movie, at the same time, there was a gunshot -- a real one," Laurie told 7NEWS.
Laurie said when her friend turned toward her, part of a bullet had hit her friend in the mouth.
Laurie and she and her friend ran out the exit doors and saw people running and screaming. She said her friend is Okay.
Movie Showing In Third Theater
Shayla Roeder said she was unable to get a ticket for the main showing in Theater 9 so she ended up in a theater across the hall.
"The alarms go on and we thought it was joke," Roeder said.
She said when she saw a police officer in the emergency exit with a gun jumping up and down, she knew it was a real emergency.
Roeder told 7NEWS as she left the theater she saw a teenage girl with multiple gunshot wounds.
View Mass Shooting Inside Aurora Theater
in a larger map
Copyright Report a typo or inaccuracyCopyright 2012 TheDenverChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.