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SF Police Monitoring Theaters In Wake Of Colorado Massacre

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(credit: CBS News)

(credit: CBS News)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco police are providing extra patrols near various movie theaters around the city Friday in the wake of a massacre at a movie theater in Colorado early Friday morning, a police spokesman said.

The mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., killed 12 people and injured nearly 50 others at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” authorities said.

James Holmes, 24, has been arrested in connection with the shooting, Aurora police said.

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San Francisco police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said that police will be focusing on movie theaters in the city today where the heavily anticipated film, the final one in a trilogy based on the Batman comic books, will be screened.

“Even though the Colorado shooting appears to be an isolated incident, we will take the extra measures to ensure we don’t have a copycat incident over here,” Esparza said.

He said police are encouraging people and employees at movie theaters to look out for and report any suspicious behavior.

Federal, state and local officials issued statements Friday about the tragedy.

“We’re going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time,” President Barack Obama said. “Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement, “As America woke up to the unspeakable tragedy this morning in Aurora, our first thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the shooting.”

Lee said, “I express my personal condolences to those impacted by today’s events. San Francisco grieves with Aurora today.”

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, said in a statement that the tragedy reaffirms the need to close a loophole in California’s assault weapon law.

Yee is authoring a bill to limit the easy reloading of semi-automatic weapons such as AR-15s and AK-47s.

“These events are shocking to all of us and sadly remind us of the carnage that is possible when assault weapons get into the wrong hands,” he said. “It is imperative that we take every step possible to eliminate the types of senseless killings witnessed in Aurora, Colorado.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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