'Security failures' allowed Colorado shooting, lawyer claims
Lawyers for victims of the Colorado movie theatre shooting say widespread security failures allowed for the attack that left 12 people dead.
Lawyer Marc Bern said the Denver cinema should have had armed guards during the packed midnight premiere of a Batman movie, where at least 1,000 people were expected.
He made his opening statement in a lawsuit against theatre owner Cinemark.
Mr Bern says the cinema also lacked silent alarms that would have sounded before gunman James Holmes slipped into the crowded theatre and opened fire.
Among other problems, Mr Bern says Holmes surveyed the theatre months before the shooting and chose it because of its lax security.
Twenty-eight victims are suing the Texas-based cinema chain in state court in Centennial, alleging it should have foreseen the July 2012 shooting.
But a lawyer for the cinema owner described Holmes as a heavily armed "mad genius" determined to kill and said he could not have been stopped.
Kevin Taylor said the company could not have known the risk of a mass shooting.
He disputed victims' allegations that the chain's security allowed for the shooting and said Cinemark's procedures were in line with industry standards.
Mr Taylor said crime was falling nationwide and that Aurora was named one of Forbes Magazine's top 10 safest cities around the time of the shooting.
He said opening nights are known to draw well-behaved crowds, and the cinema had never before seen major problems during a premiere.