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D.J. Tatum, who was in theater eight, told KUSA-TV that he saw “gas and sparks and what sounded like really strong fireworks.”

Several theatergoers said they initially thought the noise, smoke and commotion were part of the show.

“It was a horrific site outside,” said Donovan Tate, who saw the movie with his girlfriend when the shots rang out. “You saw people with blood all over their clothes, people had been shot in different body parts, the back, the leg, the thigh … It was crazy.”

This story is based in part on wire service reports.