Here is the most comprehensive minute-by -minute account I've found of the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier today. (It continues in a Part 2, here.) Created by the Reddit user Integ3r, it aggregates news reports, tweets, images and videos from around the web, and police scanner transmissions, starting with this chilling dispatch at 1:27 a.m. MDT: "Bring as much crime scene tape as you can." Redditor Integ3r has been updating and revising the timeline all morning, bringing a sense of clarity to the chaotic flood of information about the massacre.
One note: When I tweeted a link to this timeline earlier this morning, the writer and editor Anna Holmes (perhaps best known as founder of Gawker Media's Jezebel) tweeted to question what was meant by the police-scanner transcription reading "All 10 people in the theatre are black," as listed in the timeline at 1:42 a.m. MDT. In the updated timeline as it appears now, that phrase is simply followed by "fatalities." In an earlier version of timeline, it read "In this context, it means fatalities." That makes sense because various news reports indicate that of the 12 confirmed dead, 10 were pronounced dead at the theater. I've since found multiple references to "black" or "code black" being EMS lingo for dead-on-scene (vs., for instance, yellow for "urgent patient," red for "immediate patient," etc.).
How did you first hear about the tragedy? And what news sources are you relying on as the news unfolds? In my case, I woke up around 6 a.m. EDT, and as part of my usual morning iPhone troll of bookmarked websites while still in bed, spotted the news on CNN.com. I then checked NYTimes.com, which was reporting the same basic details: that local police declared that at least 14 people had been killed -- a number later revised to 12 -- and 50 people were injured. I didn't think to check Facebook, and my tweet stream didn't have much to offer yet; #theatershooting appears to have been the first related term to hit Twitter's trending topics, followed by #Aurora and Columbine -- the latter term apparently because people were pointing out the relative proximity of Aurora and Columbine (they're about 20 miles apart), and were sharing a link to "Echoes of Columbine: 14 Killed, Dozens Wounded at Colorado Movie Theater," which was posted at TheAtlantic.com at 5:40 a.m. EDT.
My fourth visit was to Reddit, where I spotted Integ3r's post. And my fifth visit was to YouTube, in search of on-the-scene reports from theatergoers. Among the videos I found: one non-graphic post titled "The Dark Knight Rises Shooting Aurora, CO -- Tragedy in Denver! 14 people dead !" (the title has since been changed to reflect the revised death count of 12). It consists of shaky footage, shot from a great distance, of emergency vehicles responding to the scene as a male recounts, in voice-over, what he witnessed and what he heard. When I viewed it at 6:43 a.m. this morning (see screenshot), disturbingly enough, a pop-up ad for "The Dark Knight Rises" soundtrack appeared on the video, along with a display ad to the right of the video.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.
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