Colorado Shootings, NYPD Starts Theater Security to Prevent James Holmes Copycats

The NYPD will increase security at movie theaters screening "The Dark Knight Rises" in a bid to alleviate fear following the tragic Colorado shootings.

Police commissioner Ray Kelly announced that the police security would target potential "copycats" of Friday's shooting, which left at least 12 movie goers dead and 50 injured, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing in the five boroughs," Kelly said in a statement.

The announcement follows reports that the lone gunman has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, who set off canisters containing an unknown gas before firing into a crowded Aurora movie theater.

Dozens of eager movie goers were watching a midnight screening premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" when Holmes, who some experts believe suffers from mental health issues, entered the crowded theater wearing a gas mask and suddenly opened fire.

"I told my friend `we've got to get out of here,' but then he shot people trying to go out the exits," one witness Jennifer Seeger told NBC's "Today." She said the shooter made his way up the aisle, firing as he went, saying nothing.

Another witness Shayla Roeder recounted the moment that she saw a young teenage girl lying on the ground and bleeding outside of the theater.

"She just had this horrible look in her eyes .... We made eye contact and I could tell she was not all right," Roeder said.

Holmes, who does not have any police record, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. MDT at the multiplex theater at a mall in Aurora and taken in to police custody. He is yet to explain his motives for the deadly shooting.

The suspect told police that he had explosives in his car and in his apartment, police are currently trying to determine whether this information is accurate.

Victims are reportedly being treated for chemical exposure due to the canisters thrown in to the crowd by Holmes.