Attack victims might be able to visit Colo. theater
Friday, September 28, 2012
DENVER (AP) — Witnesses and people injured in the Aurora theater shooting might be allowed to visit the site where a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others.
A copy of an email sent Thursday by prosecutors to victims and obtained by the Associated Press shows those interested in visiting the theater have until Friday to contact an attorney for Cinemark Inc. for information.
Some victims have said they want to go to the theater as part of the healing process.
Also on Thursday, Cinemark asked a judge to dismiss two negligence lawsuits filed against the chain in the shooting. The chain said the shocking criminal act was unforeseeable and random.
In a letter sent to Cinemark earlier this month, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan asked the company to refurbish and reopen the Century 16 theater and allow for visitation by survivors and victims’ families.
Cinemark officials did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking comment.
Cinemark has advised the city of its plans to have the theater ready for reopening by early next year.
James Holmes, 24, a former neuroscience graduate student at the University of Colorado, Denver, faces 152 charges in the shooting, including 12 murder counts.
Some victims have contacted attorney Amanda Wiley about visiting the theater. Wiley did not immediately return a message.
“I would like to see the area where I was sitting. I came so close to death,” said Michael White Sr., who was at the theater during the shooting that injured his son Michael White Jr. “It might be disturbing to me. It might be part of the healing process. I’m not sure which one it’s going to be.”
The two lawsuits filed last week in federal court allege negligence in failing to protect moviegoers. The lawsuits claim the theater failed to have extra security on hand for a special midnight showing of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” and a theater exit door where the gunman left to get his weapons and re-enter should have had an alarm.
“The fault here lies entirely with the killer,” Cinemark’s Denver attorney Kevin Taylor wrote in his motion to dismiss the suits, which were filed in U.S. District Court.
Taylor did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The attorney who filed the lawsuits on behalf of three of those injured, former Denver judge Christina Habas, declined to comment.
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