PARKERSBURG - Less than a day after a shooting at a soldout Colorado theater showing of the latest Batman film, area residents said they are not in fear of attending movies or any public events.
Early Friday in Aurora, Colo., a gunman wearing a mask opened fire at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing at least 12 people.
Police officials in Colorado alleged the gunman in the theater was 24-year-old James Holmes. He is suspected of walking into a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" wearing a gas mask and bulletproof vest and shooting at least 71 people.
A police officer walks near the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., following a shooting Friday. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (AP?Photo)
Jordan Lowe, owner of Asylum Comics in Marietta, said the shooting at a movie based on a comic book icon was a topic of discussion among his customers all day.
"This could impact sales of some comics," he said.
Lowe said he feared that a small segment of society might make a link between the Colorado shooting and comic books in general.
"Whenever something like this happens there are some who try to make a link," he said. "There's always someone trying to make a link between violence and comic books or video games."
Dexter Marks, of Calhoun County, said he had not heard much about the shooting. However, he said he did not think the shooting would discourage him or others from going to the movies or other public events.
"That wouldn't stop me," he said Friday. "I guess it could happen anywhere in the world. I guess there are crazy people all over."
"That sounds like someone was reaching out for help."
Parkersburg resident Alli Wagoner agreed the incident would not deter her from going out.
"I wouldn't have a problem as long as I'm with someone," she said.
Michael Bailey, of Parkersburg, said he had not heard about the shooting but said it did not worry him.
"It would not keep me away," he said.
Bailey said he wasn't worried about a similar shooting rampage happening close to home.
"It could happen here," he said. "But I don't think so."
In many areas, the Associated Press reported theaters took precautions on later showings of the film.
In Washington, the Department of Homeland Security held a conference call with officials from the commercial, entertainment and shopping mall industries to discuss what security measures they could take to prevent something like this from happening again.
The National Association of Theater Owners said it was working closely with law enforcement authorities and reviewing security procedures, but gave no details of any precautions taken.
AMC Theatres, the nation's second-largest theater chain, with more than 300 movie houses, said it will not allow people to wear costumes or face-covering masks into its theaters.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)