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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

The Colorado Movie Massacre

Aired July 20, 2012 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NISCHELLE TURNER, HOST: Tonight, Colorado movie massacre. Tear gas, explosives, bullets flying, at least a dozen people dead. At least 59 others wounded. What led to the horror at that midnight showing of the "Dark Knight Rises"? Is there a link between the movie and the shocking attack?

Hello, I`m Nischelle Turner with the dark nightmare hanging over the "Dark Knight Rises" tonight. Following that horrific massacre earlier today at the movie theater in Colorado. Tonight, there are disturbing questions about the "Dark Knight Rises" after a gunman shot more than 70 people at a jam-packed midnight screening of the movie, killing at least a dozen of them. And this is the man who police arrested soon after the massacre, 24-year-old James Holmes, who lived in the town where it happened, Aurora, Colorado. Police say Holmes pulled off something that could have been a scene from the movie -- tear gas explosions followed by nonstop gunfire. And amazingly, some people in the theater thought it might have been part of the show. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just Alfred talking to Bruce Wayne. And right towards the middle of that conversation, you just see like, the screen is right here, the right side of the door, the exit door opens up, and then something comes up with flying up to the air, then it hits like, it hits people, like sitting down. And at first we thought it was part of the show. Because, you know, we thought people were trying to hype people up, that it`s the new Batman movie, throwing stuff. From there, right when it happened, there was an explosion and smoke was coming out, and then a weird smell was in the air.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, the "Dark Knight Rises" made more than $30 million across the country last night as it opened at midnight screenings. The second-best for a midnight opening. When you hear stories like that from the eyewitnesses, the personal terror, what happens next? Does it make people want to see the movie even more, or just stay away from the film that was expected to shatter box office records?

We begin our hour-long coverage with Paul Dergarabedian, who is the president of Hollywood.com`s box office division. He`s in Hollywood. Along with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter. And Jane Velez-Mitchell is also here, she is the host of "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL," seen every week night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern here on HLN.

Paul, I want to begin with you. We just heard that witness say the shooting happened during what`s a quiet scene in the "Dark Knight Rises". You`ve seen this movie. Did you see anything in the movie or the trailers or even the clips, for that matter, that might have inspired something like this?

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, HOLLYWOOD.COM: Well, I never want to think that a movie would inspire somebody to do something like this. Obviously, this guy is mentally unstable. And keep in mind, the movie just started playing last night at midnight. So it`s not like he saw the movie. He may have seen the trailer for the movie or read about the movie, or whatever. But of course there are violent scenes in the movie. That`s what part of the Dark Knight mystique and the way they present this film, this vision, this dark vision of this film.

But this guy, I mean, I don`t know what his motivation was. I think he knew the movie, obviously, was opening. There would be a lot of people there. He could gain a lot of notoriety, obviously, by doing this, at such a high-profile event. It`s tragically unfortunate that it happened in a movie theater of all places.

TURNER: But you know what, Bane`s character and the plot is also depicted in D.C. Comics. But this is supposed to be like the pop culture event of the year, the release of the "Dark Knight Rises". Now this is turning into what`s become the year`s biggest tragedy. Jane, that just makes this moment of violence, I think, even more shocking, right?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Well, I think that this is a time of national reflection. And we`ve got to take a look at the whole issue of violence in our culture.

But I don`t think we should be reactive. Because a lot of times we end up creating a whole bunch of rules and laws that restrict our freedom, and then the next tragedy is a different kind of event. And so you can`t predict the future.

But I will tell you that the L.A. County sheriff`s department is already increasing their presence at movie theaters and other public events. Have we gotten to the point where we have to have metal detectors to go see a film? I think at some big action films, maybe not in art house, but at some big action films, yes, we`ve gotten to that point, just like concerts and sporting events, you have to go through metal detectors, perhaps you have to go through metal detectors at movie theaters from now on.

TURNER: That`s a thought right there. Also the police force in New York is beefing up their security at screenings as well. The studio behind "The Dark Knight Rises" is Warner Brothers, which is owned by Time Warner, that is HLN`s parent company, and needless to say, you know, they have been scrambling to respond to this tragedy. So let`s go down to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Kareen Wynter in Hollywood. Kareen, what exactly is the studio saying abut this?

KAREEN WYNTER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Warner Brothers, Nischelle, they have been taking quite a bit of action since this tragedy unfolded. But let me get to the latest statement from them, and this really refutes reports out there that the studio would be canceling screenings across the country. We got the statement from a rep at WB corporate communications saying Warner Brothers will not cancel, again, will not cancel any of the "Dark Knight Rises" screenings. There you have it.

Nischelle, I can tell you, though, that Warner Brothers pulled the plug on a big Paris premiere of the "Dark Knight Rises" and press interviews that were scheduled for tonight. A majority of the cast flew to Paris to this star-studded event to really promote the movie there. The studio tells us, Warner Brothers and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time. And something else incredible, Nischelle, the studio had to scramble to pull the trailer for the upcoming movie "Gangster Squad" that was running in some "Dark Knight" screenings, and the reason -- this is an unbelievable coincidence, they tell you, one screen in the trailer shows a group of bad guys attacking -- that`s right, attacking a crowded movie theater with machine guns.

TURNER: Whoa!

WYNTER: Which we`re obviously not showing in light of the Colorado tragedy. It hits too close to home, Nischelle.

TURNER: All right, wow, Kareen, all right. Thank you very much. Now, I know you`ve been all over this. Good work.

Now, when you hear these stories, especially the ones from the eyewitnesses, it really does bring a chill. Watch this with me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the bottom right corner, I see flashes of light and loud sounds. But it also climaxed with the movie so you couldn`t really tell. And once I heard people screaming and yelling get down, I realized the seriousness of the situation. And from there, I tried to just help my friends get out. I saw multiple of my friends and people I didn`t know get shot. Two of them are doing fine. I do not know the circumstances of the other. Last we know of -- he was on--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: I want to bring into this conversation thriller novelist Brad Thor, who has also consulted the U.S. government on terrorism. Brad, thank you for joining us, first of all. But today we heard that theaters all over the country are beefing up security. There is nothing to indicate that the alleged gunman was working with others, but is there or should there be a concern about copycats?

BRAD THOR, WRITER: Absolutely. When you have these kinds of things happen, you can never go wrong by adding a little more security. It`s going to make the theater goers feel better. It`s the responsible thing for law enforcement to do. And, listen, this guy, as has been said by some of the other guests, this guy was completely nuts. This guy is insane. He is evil incarnate, and he`s not the only person out there. So the chance that this guy could encourage others who are on the edge, who are seeing the media coverage right now, to do the same is -- it`s there. And so to take that precaution for extra security is the wise thing to do.

TURNER: So what do you think? Do you think that people have anything to worry about then going to the movies this weekend?

THOR: Well, I`ll tell you, we -- it is unfortunate that we live in a world where there is evil. There are people who would do us harm. As far as going to the movies this weekend, you know, everybody has got to make that decision for themselves. And it`s -- none of us have a crystal ball. We can`t tell. Are there more wackos out there like this guy who are going to get kicked over into some weird state and go pull the same thing? There`s no way of knowing. This is an individual choice. People are going to have to look at the facts and decide on their own.

TURNER: And, unfortunately, we have to live in a world now where we have to be extra vigilant. You know, the "Dark Knight Rises" was expected to shatter box office records this week. And the prediction was it would become the biggest non-3-D movie of all-time to open, if not the biggest of all-time, period. Paul, I want to circle back to you. Is what happened today going to make even more people want to see the movie? Perhaps out of like a weird, morbid curiosity?

DERGARABEDIAN: Yes, it`s a really odd situation I`ve never dealt with in 20 years of doing this box office tracking and industry following. And I just don`t know at this point. I know that the midnights were huge, but that was before all this news broke. Also, there was a tremendous amount of online ticket sales, presales of tickets, where people have the tickets in hand. And I think a lot of those true fans, they`re going to realize this was an isolated incident. And as was said before, be vigilant.

TURNER: Absolutely. Thank you very much, Paul. Jane, Paul, Kareen and Brad, appreciate you guys. So what does this unbelievable tragedy mean for families across the country tonight? Should parents still send their kids to the movies alone? Are millions of Americans going to stay away from the theaters this weekend? Tonight, the dramatic impact the Colorado movie massacre is having on America.

Plus, eyewitness to the terror.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looks like we`ve got another person outside shot in the leg, a female. I`ve got people running out of the theater that are shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Just what were those moments of sheer horror like during the massacre? Who were the heroes that helped the wounded survive? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the tragic 911 calls for help and the chilling first-person accounts of the attack. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the terror inside. Survivor Jennifer Seegers reveals how the man behind the Colorado movie massacre went about his gruesome attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER SEEGERS: All you hear is just gunfire, left and right. Any time somebody tried to get up and run away, he would just shoot them. He didn`t have a specific agenda. He was just shooting people, left and right. Shooting little kids, like 6-year-old kids, 3-year-old kids. And moms. You know? And I`m like 22 years old. And I didn`t get shot, and so it`s like, you know, why didn`t he take me instead of that 3-year-old or a 6-year-old? You know what I mean? Like why didn`t he take me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: I`m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater? As so many of our kids do every day. Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight. And I`m sure you will do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: That was President Obama addressing the nation this morning after the movie massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

Now, you know, I think the president`s words were really striking a cord today with millions of people tonight. It`s a good question. How do you make sense of a tragedy like this happening inside, of all places, a movie theater, a place where you`re supposed to just leave all your troubles behind and enjoy the show, right?

With me now from Hollywood, psychologist Wendy Walsh. Also from Hollywood, Paul Dergarabedian, who is president of Hollywood.com`s box office division.

Wendy, how do you -- and I don`t even know if it`s possible to -- but how do you at least try to make sense of a tragedy like this happening in a movie theater?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s impossible to completely make sense of it. In fact, my teenager who is away at a program at Stanford texted me immediately this morning about it, and I talked to her about statistical probability.

This is the payback or one of the high risks of living in a high-risk culture. This is the payback to freedom. You`re going to have the odd person once every ten years, in an isolated, random act. There is going to be tragedy. It is chilling, it is terrible, but we should not stop living and keep going. That`s the important thing.

TURNER: Yes, that`s a very good point, Wendy. Paul, I want to talk to you. You`ve seen this movie. Now, is there anything in the movie that makes you think that some guy could be inspired, somehow -- it`s weird even saying it, but be inspired to commit such a heinous act?

DERGARABEDIAN: Yes, it`s so bizarre to even think that way, because clearly you have to be mentally unstable in the first place to allow some sort of media or art to inspire you to commit mass murder.

And for me, the movie obviously -- I loved the movie. And it`s clearly a violent movie. That`s part of the Dark Knight mystique is that it`s violent. And the last thing I would want to see is a chilling effect on the creative process, wherein let`s say filmmakers in studio say we better not put any violence in a movie, because then people might act out. And as was said before, this is something that might happen once every ten years. I don`t know of anything else exactly like this ever happening in a movie theater. You know, it`s a sanctuary where people go to have fun and escape the real world. And here the real world came into the movie theater.

TURNER: Absolutely. You know, Wendy, so many parents, like the president, like the Obamas, who send their kids to the movies, especially a movie like the "Dark Knight Rises", what`s the advice to parents who probably are scared themselves after all of this happened?

WALSH: Of course. And children are sponges, and they will soak up your emotions and your feelings. The important thing is for parents to contain yourselves. Children are not your sounding board. Children do not need to be overprotected. This is not a time to teach your children to grow up in a fear-based way with their behavior. But it is time to teach them compassion and concern for the families. So that we can think about the mourning and the grieving part, but not the fear part.

TURNER: Paul, here`s the white elephant in the room. Is it unfair to link this shooting to the violence in the Batman series now?

DERGARABEDIAN: I think it is. Because I think if you do that, then you could say, well, somebody watches the evening news or reads a book that might have a lot of violence in it, that if you start blaming creative works for people`s, you know, snapping and doing something absolutely crazy, well then that defeats the whole purpose of being in America and having the freedoms we have. It`s just that`s what terrorists do, right? They do something that then changes the way we are able to conduct ourselves in a free society. And I don`t want this to do that.

I think people should be vigilant, obviously. But to have it scare people away from going to the movie theater, I certainly hope not. I love the movie theater, I love going to movies, you know, so I do not want to see that happen. But it`s so early, and we`re still trying to process this.

TURNER: Yes. We are. And there is a lot to process. Wendy, I heard you agree with him there. Both of you guys, thank you so much for joining us today. We appreciate it.

So the next question then, what was it like when a night at the movies turned into terror? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has eyewitness accounts of the horror and the brave acts that may just have saved lives. We`re revealing the frantic 911 call that helped put an end to this massacre.

Plus, the emotional stories from the movie goers who survived this American tragedy. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, to the terror inside the massacre. Survivor Darius Harvey (ph) tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about the exact moment that he knew the horrific attack was under way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just watching the movie, and everything was all quiet. And it looked like there was something tearing across the room. Didn`t know what it was at first. And the bottom right, I saw flashes of light followed by loud noises. I`m thinking someone is just playing around and it`s firecrackers. But come to the seriousness, I felt the pepper in my throat and everything, and then I realized that it was gunfire. I heard get down, get down, and all types of stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That dude got shot. Look at (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: That was the horrific scene in the moments after a gunman opened fire on a packed movie theater in Colorado. Now, the video was shot with a cell phone camera. It was posted on Youtube shortly after the drama unfolded.

As the Colorado movie massacre went down, eyewitnesses took to social media to share their stories of horror and survival. Their personal stories were posted on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, giving us a whole new view of the terror that happened. Back with me now, psychologist Wendy Walsh. I want to play, Wendy, that cell phone video again of the aftermath of the Colorado shooting. What do you make of the fact that in the middle of all of this drama, this person had the presence of mind to document what was happening?

WALSH: Well, keep in mind, we have become our own one-stop media production facility here. Each of us carries around an electronic camera. Some people are able to stop and think in that moment, others think about later, and say wow, I could have shot that. But it`s the way we reach out and the way that we stay connected electronically to those around us, and especially the younger generation.

TURNER: Yes, it`s definitely becoming a new world, because as this shooting and the aftermath was happening, people were also taking to Twitter. There was a series of tweets from one person, that`s ZachEtake38 in particular that I want to read for you, because it really gives an idea of the scene before, during and after the shooting. Here is what he said.

At 9:31, Colorado time before the movie, Zacketake38 tweets, "everyone is dressing up as Batman, I`m going dressed as Bruce Wayne, a short, stubby, unsexy Bruce Wayne." So he is obviously very excited about going to see the movie. But then at 1:03 a.m., there is another Tweet from him, news that something had gone terribly wrong at the theater. He said, "have just evacuated our theater in Aurora. There was a shooting in our auditorium. I am safe." Now go to 2:03 a.m., there was another tweet and he said, "I know I saw one man with blood running down his hands being carried into a cop car." One more at 2:14. He tweets again. "A bit shaken up at the moment. Not gonna lie, that was extremely terrifying."

This gives us a real and like real-time sense of just how quickly things went badly. Now, what`s the value of having a platform like Twitter or something like that to share such a scary story with everyone?

WALSH: Well, you can think about it on a number of levels. First of all, emotionally, humans are born to connect. We`re born to reach out. And now we can do it electronically. And it`s a way to kind of self- console, help people how you`re feeling, what`s going on.

Secondly, it`s a way all of us can keep truth in the news. We all know that when we watch video from a news organization, there may be FDA requirements and they may have edited it in some way to protect us. But not the stuff you find on Youtube and Twitter. That is real, it`s visceral, it`s personal truths. So it enables us to really get a feeling of what it was like to be there.

TURNER: Yes, and some people always say, maybe you share too much on Twitter. But I think in this case, being able to give people a real-time, real-life account of what happened to me was really intriguing. Wendy Walsh, I thank you very much.

Here is what is coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT as our special coverage continues. The terror inside the theater. The heartbreaking, and I mean heartbreaking 911 calls for help. The frantic scramble by police on the screen. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is showing you how the Colorado massacre played out in real-time.

Plus, the eyewitness accounts to the horror when a night at the movies turned into, yes, an American tragedy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TURNER: Right now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, horror at the midnight showing of the "Dark Knight Rises". Twelve people dead, dozens hurt. Tonight, the terror inside. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has 911 calls and eyewitness accounts from inside the Colorado theater as the movie massacre happened.

Plus, the dramatic impact this tragedy is having on America. Will this keep millions away from the movies this weekend?

And Hollywood`s heartbreak. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has brand-new star reaction to the shootings. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S continuing coverage of the Colorado shootings continues, right now.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I`m Nischelle Turner, in for AJ with our continuing coverage of the Colorado movie massacre. Tonight, movie theaters are packed around the country with millions of people going to see the "Dark Knight Rises". But there is no doubt that what happened early this morning is on the minds of many. A gunman bursts into a movie theater during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie, tosses a smoke bomb and opens fire, shooting more than 70 people as the movie played, and killing at least a dozen. They were all innocent victims who wanted nothing more than to be among the first fans to see the "Dark Knight Rises". Right now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the dramatic moments as they played out in 911 calls and police radios. Here are the sights and sounds as the terror unfolded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re saying somebody is shooting in the auditorium.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) at least one person that has been shot. But they`re saying there are hundreds of people just running around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think somebody sprayed (ph) some gas over here, too. (inaudible) We got a guy shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inside the theater 9?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just outside theater 9.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve got another person outside shot in the leg, a female. I`ve got people running out of the theater that were shot in room 9.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 318, we got another victim on the north side of the theater, the parking lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m being told that he`s in theater 9. From what I`m smelling inside, I can -- it sounds like it`s OC, maybe, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out some damn gas masks for theater 9. We can`t get in it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) car shot -- wait, two doors down, John Zebra, I have -- it`s a Kia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy, there`s another victim in a white Kia. Where is the vehicle at?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need a marked car behind the theater. There`s a suspect in a gas mask. Everyone, hold the air one second. Car -- white (ph) car in the rear of the lot. Is that a suspect?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we`ve got rifles, gas masks, and now I`ve got an open door going into the theater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Hold that position. Hold your suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got seven down in theater 9. Seven down!

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me get 25 (ph), everybody on this. It`s an assault rifle, we have magazines down inside. So everybody watch out for the assault rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So the guy is still in theater 9. I`m working on the backboard right now for that female.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect is going to be a male, unknown race, black camo outfit. Believed to be wearing a vest, gas mask and multiple long guns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: The horror inside theater 9, it`s just so chilling to hear those tapes. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the Colorado shooting has left Hollywood`s biggest stars also heartbroken. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter joins me. Kareen, I know you`ve been checking in with the stars and seeing what they`re saying on Twitter. Right?

WINTER: I sure have, Nischelle, and this is a tragedy, it`s touched each and every one of us today, and stars, they use Twitter to express their sympathies. Here`s what Jessica Simpson tweeted. "Praying for the victims and families of those involved in the shooting in Colorado. My heart is broken. So awful. God bless." Eva Longoria wrote this. "My heart goes out to all the people affected in the Aurora, Colorado shooting. May God be with that town and their families." We also heard, Nischelle, from Ryan Seacrest, who tweeted, "thinking about the families who were affected by this horrible incident in Colorado. My thoughts and prayers are with you all." Olivia Munn wrote, "my sincerest condolences to the victims and families in Colorado. So sad, so mindless." And David Hasselhoff, he asked for prayers. "My heart goes out to all the parents and friends of the lovely people in Colorado. Please stop, close your eyes and say a prayer for them."

Nischelle, you know, the outpouring from Hollywood, it really is so remarkable, and as David tweeted, we should all pray for those affected.

TURNER: I will second that one, definitely. Thank you, Kareen. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the "Dark Knight Rises" made more than $30 million across the country last night at as it opened at midnight screenings. That is the second highest midnight opening of all-time. But it makes you wonder if the tragedy has scared some people from going to the movies. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues our coverage with Paul Dergarabedian, who is president of Hollywood.com`s box office division, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Kareen Wynter, she is also in Hollywood, and Jane Velez-Mitchell is here, as well, she is the host of "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL," seen every night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern here on HLN.

You know, Paul, you`ve seen this movie. Did you see anything in that film or the trailers or anything, for that matter, that might have inspired something like this?

DERGARABEDIAN: Yes, you know, I`ve seen a lot of movies that have a lot of violence in them. And yet a well-adjusted person would leave the theater and not be affected by it in a way that obviously this person, who is very mentally unstable, did. And I want to make the point that he probably -- I mean, obviously hadn`t seen the movie yet. It just opened at midnight last night. So I don`t know how he would have even seen it. Of course, he could have seen trailers and read about it. And that kind of thing.

I think he was just hooking for an opportunity to make a name for himself. He knew this was a very high-profile debut, that everyone would be talking about it. I mean, I`m getting chills when I hear those 911 tapes. It`s so tragic. And for a movie theater -- for this to happen there is just appalling to me.

TURNER: Yes, it really is. This is supposed to be the biggest pop culture event of the year, the release of the "Dark Knight Rises". Now this has actually turned into the year`s biggest tragedy. Jane, that just makes this moment of violence, to me, seem even more shocking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really is. And my heart as well goes out to the victims and their families. It`s surreal. As I was hearing the events unfold this morning and learning more and more, it really is hard to process, and we`re not even there. Imagine the people who were right there, front and center. One witness who literally stared down this alleged gunman and felt the cartridges falling on her head as other people were massacred. So this has to be a time for national reflection on our culture of violence in general.

TURNER: I agree with you, Jane. The studio behind the "Dark Knight Rises" is Warner Brothers, which is owned by Time Warner, that is HLN`s parent company. And needless to say, you know, they`ve been scrambling to respond to this tragedy. Let`s go out to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter in Hollywood. Kareen, what is the studio saying?

WYNTER: We just got a fresh new statement from Warner Brothers. In response to the reports out there that they would be canceling screenings across the country, not happening. Warner Brothers released a statement saying that it will not. It will not cancel any of the "Dark Knight Rises" screenings across the country.

But, Nischelle, I can tell you that the studio pulled the plug on the big Paris premiere for the "Dark Knight Rises" and press interviews that were scheduled for tonight. A majority of the cast, they flew to Paris for this star-studded event to promote the movie. The studio tells us, quote, "Warner Brothers and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincerest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."

And something else incredible, Nischelle. The studio had to scramble to pull the trailer for the upcoming movie "Gangster Squad" that was running in some "Dark Knight" screenings. The reason, and this is absolutely incredible, it`s a coincidence here. One scene in the trailer shows a group of bad guys attacking a crowded movie theater with machine guns, which were not -- we are not showing that, of course, in light of the Colorado tragedy. Just hits too close to home. But unbelievable, Nischelle.

TURNER: Yes you know what, the "Dark Knight Rises" was expected to shatter box office records this week, and the prediction was it would become the biggest non 3-D movie of all-time to open, if not the biggest one of all-time, period.

Paul, I want to come back to you. What happened today? And I need to ask you quickly. What happened, and do you think this is going to keep people out of the theater or make more people want to see it?

DERGARABEDIAN: I think people have already bought their tickets. A lot of presales. I think it`s going to do what it was going to do for this opening weekend. And it`s still going to be a big movie. But over the long haul, we just have to wait and see. The jury is still out on that.

TURNER: Yes. So Jane, let`s go back to you. Is what happened today, you think, going to make people even more people actually want to see this, maybe out of a morbid curiosity?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, who knows. But I think it could be a wash. Because different people will react differently. Some people will be afraid to go to the movies. Other people might tell their kids you can`t go. Other people, however, who for this film, it wasn`t even on their radar. Now they`re thinking about the film, looking at the trailer over and over again. And they might be intrigued, and so it might bring in a whole new audience to go check out this film.

TURNER: You know, that`s a good point that I hadn`t even really thought about. Jane, Paul and Kareen, thank you guys very much.

So, tonight, the dramatic impact this massacre is having on America. Is the "Dark Knight Rises" itself linked to the killer`s actions? And how should you talk to your kids about the tragedy? You`re watching SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s special coverage of the Colorado movie massacre.

Now, the terror inside. A survivor of the massacre recounts the exact moments he was able to escape the horrific attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After all the shooting was done, I looked up for a brief second, I saw he was reloading and walking towards the back of the theater, and it arches up. And just saw he was walking back there, and I grabbed my girlfriend and my friend and said we`ve got to get going, because he is reloading, now is our chance. And leaving, I saw a guy just lying on the floor, he was covered in blood. And a lot of people ran to help him when the guy was reloading his weapon. So we just left, and a bunch of people left at that time. It was just crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater? As so many of our kids do every day. Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight. And I`m sure you will do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them, and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: That was President Obama addressing the nation this morning after the movie massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Now, you know, I think the president`s words were really striking a cord today with millions of people tonight. I mean, it`s a good question. How do you make sense of a tragedy like this, happening inside of, all places, a movie theater, a place where you`re supposed to just leave all your troubles behind and enjoy the show, right?

With me now from Hollywood, psychologist Wendy Walsh. Also from Hollywood, Paul Dergarabedian, who is president of Hollywood.com`s box office division.

Now, Wendy, how do you -- and I don`t even know if it`s possible to -- but how do you at least try to make sense of a tragedy like this happening in a movie theater?

WALSH: Well, it`s impossible to completely make sense of it. In fact, my teenager who is away at a program at Stanford, texted me immediately this morning about it, and I talked to her about statistical probability. This is the payback or one of the high risks of living in a high-risk culture. This is the payback to freedom. Is that you`re going to have the odd person once every ten years in an isolated, random act. There is going to be tragedy. It is chilling, it is terrible. But we should not stop living and keep going. That`s the important thing.

TURNER: Yes, that`s a very good point, Wendy. Paul, I want to talk to you. You`ve seen this movie. Now, is there anything in the movie that makes you think that some guy could be inspired, somehow -- it`s weird even saying it, but be inspired to commit such a heinous act?

DERGARABEDIAN: Yes, it`s so bizarre to even think that way, because clearly, you have to be mentally unstable in the first place to allow some sort of media or art to inspire you to commit mass murder. And for me, you know, the movie, obviously -- I love the movie. And it`s clearly a violent movie. That`s part of the Dark Knight mystique, is that it`s violent. And the last thing I would want the to see is a chilling effect on the creative process, wherein let`s say filmmakers in studio say, well, we better not put any violence in a movie, because then people might act out.

And as was said before, this is something that might happen once every ten years. I don`t know of anything else exactly like this ever happening in a movie theater. It`s a sanctuary, where people go to have fun and escape the real world, and here the real world came into the movie theater.

TURNER: Absolutely. You know, Wendy, so many parents like the president, like the Obamas, who send their kids to the movies, especially a movie like the "Dark Knight Rises", what`s the advice to parents who probably are scared themselves after all of this happened?

WALSH: Of course. And children are sponges, and they will soak up your emotions and your feelings. The important thing is for parents to contain yourselves. Children are not your sounding board. Children do not need to be overprotected. This is not a time to teach your children to grow up in a fear-based way with their behavior. But it is time to teach them compassion. And concern for the families. So that we can think about the mourning and the grieving part, but not the fear part.

TURNER: Paul, here`s the white elephant in the room. Is it unfair to link this shooting to the violence in the Batman series now?

DERGARABEDIAN: I think it is. Because I think if you do that, then you could say, well, if somebody watches the evening news or reads a book that might have a lot of violence in it, that if you start blaming creative works for people`s, you know, snapping and doing something absolutely crazy, well then that defeats the whole purpose of being in America and having the freedoms that we have. It`s just that`s what terrorists do, right? They do something that then changes the way we are able to conduct ourselves in a free society. And I don`t want this to do that.

I think people should be vigilant, obviously. But to have it scare people away from going to the movie theater, I certainly hope not. I love the movie theater, I love going to movies, you know, and so I do not want to see that happen. But it`s so early, and we`re still trying to process this.

TURNER: Yes. We are. And there is a lot to process. Wendy, I heard you agree with him there. Both of you guys, thank you so much for joining us today. We appreciate it.

So while the massacre was unfolding inside the theater in Colorado, the sights and sounds of the terror were also playing out in real-time through social media sites. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the second-by-second accounts of the deadly tragedy from Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. You are watching SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s special coverage of the Colorado movie massacre.

Now, to the terror inside the massacre. Survivor Darius Harvey tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about the exact moment that he knew the horrific attack was under way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just watching the movie, and everything was all quiet. And it looked like there was something tearing across the room. Didn`t know what it was at first. And in the bottom right, I saw flashes of light, followed by loud noises. I`m thinking someone is just playing around and it`s firecrackers. But come to the seriousness, I felt the pepper in my throat and everything, and then I realized that it was gunfire. I heard get down, get down and all types of stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That dude got shot. Look at (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: That was the horrific scene in the moments after a gunman opened fire on a packed movie theater in Colorado. Now, the video was shot with a cell phone camera. It was posted on Youtube shortly after the drama unfolded.

As the Colorado movie massacre went down, eyewitnesses took to social media to share their stories of horror and survival. Their personal stories were posted on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, giving us a whole new view of the terror that happened. Back with me now, psychologist Wendy Walsh. I want to play, Wendy, that cell phone video again of the aftermath of the Colorado shooting. What do you make of the fact that in the middle of all of this drama, this person had the presence of mind to document what was happening?

WALSH: Well, keep in mind, we have become our own one-stop media production facility here. Each of us carries around an electronic camera. Some people are able to stop and think in that moment, others think about later, and say wow, I could have shot that. But it`s the way we reach out and the way that we stay connected electronically to those around us, and especially the younger generation.

TURNER: Yes, it`s definitely becoming a new world, because as this shooting and the aftermath was happening, people were also taking to Twitter. There was a series of tweets from one person, that`s ZachEtake38 in particular that I want to read for you, because it really gives an idea of the scene before, during and after the shooting. Here is what he said.

At 9:31, Colorado time before the movie, Zacketake38 tweets, "everyone is dressing up as Batman, I`m going dressed as Bruce Wayne, a short, stubby, unsexy Bruce Wayne." So he is obviously very excited about going to see the movie. But then at 1:03 a.m., there is another Tweet from him, news that something had gone terribly wrong at the theater. He said, "have just evacuated our theater in Aurora. There was a shooting in our auditorium. I am safe." Now go to 2:03 a.m., there was another tweet and he said, "I know I saw one man with blood running down his hands being carried into a cop car." One more at 2:14. He tweets again. "A bit shaken up at the moment. Not gonna lie, that was extremely terrifying."

This gives us a real and like real-time sense of just how quickly things went badly. Now, what`s the value of having a platform like Twitter or something like that to share such a scary story with everyone?

WALSH: Well, you can think about it on a number of levels. First of all, emotionally, humans are born to connect. We`re born to reach out. And now we can do it electronically. And it`s a way to kind of self- console, help people how you`re feeling, what`s going on.

Secondly, it`s a way all of us can keep truth in the news. We all know that when we watch video from a news organization, there may be FDA requirements and they may have edited it in some way to protect us. But not the stuff you find on Youtube and Twitter. That is real, it`s visceral, it`s personal truths. So it enables us to really get a feeling of what it was like to be there.

TURNER: Yes, and some people always say, maybe you share too much on Twitter. But I think in this case, being able to give people a real-time, real-life account of what happened to me was really intriguing. Wendy Walsh, I thank you very much.

Dr. Drew has more on the Colorado shootings, inside the mind of the suspect. What may have been going on before, during and after the shooting. Dr. Drew is next.

END