I woke up this morning and saw messages on my phone from family and friends in Colorado. That's where I'm from and where nearly all of my closest extended family lives.
The messages were hard to believe. An overwhelmingly armed gunman wearing a gas mask sprayed a movie theater with a chemical agent and gunfire at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. And a dozen people died and many more were wounded.
Police apprehended the shooter -- reportedly James Homes, 24 -- at his car.
CNN says the victims being treated ranged in age from 3 months to 45 years old:
One police officer carried a girl believed to be about 9 with gunshot wounds to her back out of the theater, a witness said. "She wasn't moving."
Authorities also have evacuated the suspect's Aurora apartment building after "he made a statement about explosives" in his unit, Oates said.
The shooter used at least four guns -- an "AK type" rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, the federal law enforcement official told CNN.
The shooting news immediately brought to mind the horrific Columbine school shooting, in which 13 people were killed and 23 injured.
Evil exists in this world. Whether we pretend it does or we pretend it doesn't.
Two other items of note. One of the victims wrote recently about narrowly avoiding being killed at the Toronto mall shooting and how it changed her life.
And the mother of the alleged shooter was called by a news outlet:
A San Diego woman who identified herself as James Holmes' mother told ABC News she had awoken unaware of the shooting and had not yet been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.
"You have the right person," she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. "I need to call the police... I need to fly out to Colorado."