Police to Monitor Bedford Playhouse in Wake of Colorado 'Batman' Shooting

Bedford police said they will have increased visibility following the tragic deaths of 12 Colorado residents at a midnight screening of 'Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.'

An increased police presence in the vicinity of movie theatre is likely throughout this weekend following the movie theatre massacre that took place in Aurora, Colorado early Friday morning.

"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."

Town officials are on heightened alert after the deadly shooting where a gunman in a gas mask entered a Denver-area midnight premiere of the Batman movie Thursday night, threw a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others.

"I'm sure the residents of that town didn't anticipate anything like this could happen," said Dickan. "These incidents can happen anywhere."

Patch contacted Clearview Cinemas to ask whether any precautions would be put into place for weekend screenings, such as not allowing moviegoers to attend screenings in costume.

A spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Still, several screenings in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland remain sold out or near capacity.

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 California's , the young gunman, James Holmes, 24, 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."

The shooting has prompted the , 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 gunned down moviegoers.

Were you planning to see the film this weekend? Are you going to change your plans? Tell us in the comments.


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