Local movie fans shocked, but feel safe after Colorado shootings
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com July 20, 2012 10:36PM
People lined up early to get in and see the 10 a.m. showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at Marcus Cinema in Orland Park, Illinois, Friday, July 20, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Gunman goes on rampage at
Batman movie showing
Updated: August 23, 2012 10:42AM
Tracy Tervin, of Mokena, was on the phone early Friday, making sure that her cousin was not among those in a Colorado theater where a gunman killed 12 and wounded 58 during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie.
Tervin’s aunt and uncle are in town, visiting her family. They enjoyed a visit to Navy Pier on Thursday.
But their visit took a serious turn Friday morning when they heard about the shootings in Aurora, Colo. — immediately worried about the well being of their 30-year-old son, Tervin’s cousin, who lives in Aurora.
“They were very concerned and called him right away. He’s fine. He wasn’t at the movie,” Tervin said.
She and her son, Bobby, were at the Marcus Theatres in Orland Park at 10:30 a.m. Friday, buying tickets for the 12:30 p.m. screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the third film in the latest Batman trilogy. Bobby, 12, said he learned of the shootings earlier on the Internet.
“It’s really sad,“ he said, adding that he wasn’t worried about their safety in Orland Park. “We’re good here.”
That sentiment was shared by other moviegoers outside the theater, 16350 LaGrange Road, where before the 10 a.m. showing, an Orland Park police officer was stationed in a squad car near the entrance. The officer was gone by the time the Tervins arrived.
Police Chief Tim McCarthy said an officer briefly was assigned to the theater as a “precautionary move. We did our due diligence. We spoke with the managers, made sure they have security in place, made sure doors are locked.”
In a statement, Carlo Petrick, marketing and communications manager for Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres, said all showings of “The Dark Knight Rises” and all other movies at the company’s theaters will go on as scheduled.
“These senseless random acts of violence, by disturbed individuals, can happen anywhere, but had never occurred in a U.S. movie theater,” Petrick said. “Safety and security of our guests and associates is always a priority concern. We will take appropriate measures to have our security precautions in place today and every day.”
Arriving for the 10:50 a.m. show, Angel Nuncci, 33, of Bolingbrook, said the “crazy” shootings in Colorado, though tragic, did not leave him worried about his safety. Nuncci said he had a hard time understanding why anyone would shoot people in a theater.
“To do this at random, knowing that most of the people there will be young, in their teens, their 20s ...” Nuncci said.
Rebecca Schiavo, 19, of Tinley Park, had not heard about the shootings until a reporter told her.
“Wow. There’s no reasoning to that. It’s ridiculous. It’s quite sad, actually,” said Schiavo, who is majoring in law enforcement in college.
Marcus employee Fiona Lane, 20, showed up for work unaware of the Colorado incident. She said it was “scary” to think about someone firing a gun in a movie theater but saw it as a random act of violence.
Asked if police would be stationed outside the theater for future showings of the Batman movie, McCarthy had no comment.
“At this point, this is an unbelievable, terrible tragedy. It appears to be an isolated event, but these type of things are becoming all too common,” he said.