Batman movie director Christopher Nolan on Saturday expressed "profound sorrow" on behalf of the cast and crew after a gunman opened fire during the premiere of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring nearly 60 others.
Nolan described the massacre as a "senseless tragedy" that has befallen the entire community in Aurora, a city which is part of the Denver Metropolitan Area. The shootings happened on early Friday morning during a midnight screening for the movie, which is the third installment in Nolan's Batman film series.
"I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime," Nolan said in a statement posted on the official Facebook page for the movie. "The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me."
He expressed his shock on behalf of the cast and crew of 'The Dark Knight Rises'. "Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families," he added in the brief statement.
Christian Bale, the star of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' also expressed his shock. "Words cannot express the horror that I feel," he said in a statement on late Saturday. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."
The massacre took place when a gunman walked into an auditorium at the Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora. He appeared as a silhouette to moviegoers, some of whom first assumed he was part of a stunt for the movie, but then set off two devices with smoke or some sort of irritant to distract them.
The gunman, who was outfitted in complete ballistic gear, then opened fire at the moviegoers, killing twelve people and injuring 58 others. Responding police officers arrested 24-year-old James Eagen Holmes outside the movie theater. He was carrying several weapons and reportedly identified himself to police as 'the Joker,' a character in the Batman series.
Friday's massacre was one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.