(CBS/AP) AURORA, Colo. A gunman opened fire early Friday at a suburban Denver movie theater, leaving at least 14 people dead and 50 others injured, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said.
The violent and chaotic scene erupted about 12:30 a.m. local time as a gunman stood at the front of one of the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall where the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing, police said.
"Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire," Oates said at a news conference.
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said.
Officers found the gunman near a car behind the theater.
"A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon (were) found inside" he said. CBS News senior correspondent John Miller reported one of the weapons was an AK-47 assault rifle.
The suspect was taken into custody, but no name was released. Oates said there's no evidence of any other attackers. There was also no immediate word of any motive.
A shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., left at least 14 people dead and around 50 more wounded, July 20, 2012
The suspect spoke of "possible explosives in his residence. We are dealing with that potential threat," Oates said. An apartment building in North Aurora was evacuated in connection with the shooting, Oates said.
He said police also checked for explosives in the parking lot and theater, and secured those areas.
The shooting occurred in Theater 9, which has a capacity of around 300 people, according to CBS station KCNC in Denver. The youngest reported victim is a 6-year-old being treated at Children's Hospital Colorado, where a total of six victims were taken. Their condition wasn't known.
An amateur video posted to Youtube (scroll down to see) showed people walking around outside the theater, allegedly in the moments after the incident. One man was seen wearing a shirt that appeared to be bloodstained. He was being led by a police officer. Some people could be heard shouting.
Witness Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he was inside Theater 16 and heard several shots.
"Like little explosions going on and shortly after that we heard people screaming," he told the station.
Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. But then he saw "people hunched over leaving theater."
Paul Otermat, who told Sky News he was in the theater when the incident occurred, said he "thought it was a publicity stunt," when he saw a man in a long coat walk in and hurl what he believed was a tear gas canister at the crowd.
"Then he started firing shots into the crowd," Otermat said. He says he and his girlfriend ducked to the floor and crept out as gunfire continued. "My girlfriend saw a canister on the ground that was still foaming ... We ran through the lobby and we heard more shots, and we ran out into the parking lot and got into our car and left."
The police chief said 10 victims died at the theater and four at area hospitals.
Two people in critical condition were rushed to nearby Swedish Medical Center, spokeswoman Nicole Williams said.
She said emergency crews told her staff to prepare for several more patients from the shooting scene.
"We're on standby to receive," she said.
Aurora is located on the southeast outskirts of Denver, about 10 miles from downtown.