Colo. families pray for missing loved ones after movie theater shooting

Tom Sullivan, holds a photograph of his son, Alex Sullivan, as he pleads with the media to help him find his son, outside Gateway High School on July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez

(CBS News) Family and friends gathered at a high school nearby the Colorado movie theater where a gunmen opened fire Friday, hoping and praying to find missing loved ones.

Witnesses to the mass shooting at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film in Aurora were brought to Gateway High School by authorities. At least 12 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a gas mask-wearing man sprayed bullets into the crowd shortly after the highly-anticipated movie began.

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Many of the 71 people shot were accounted for at hospitals or on scene, but some parents and relatives showed up to the school Friday morning with hopes of reuniting with kids they were unable to reach. Tom Sullivan held up a flyer of his son, Alex, asking reporters if they had seen him, according to the Associated Press. Alex was celebrating his 27th birthday by attending the premiere.

Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members outside Gateway High School, July 20, 2012. Sulliavan was searching frantically for his son Alex, who celebrated his 27th birthday by going to see "The Dark Knight Rises."
Barry Gutierrez

A witness named Caitlin, who said she was in the theater when the shooting happened, went to her twitter account to say her friend Alex was still missing as of 8 a.m., ET.

Byron Settles was also at the school looking for his nephew, Tyrell Hardiman, according to the Associated Press. Settles said it was unusual that Tyrell wasn't at work when he was supposed to be there.

A reporter for the Denver Post tweeted out about the missing nephew, using a different spelling, writing that his uncle was "desperately looking for him."

Over 12 hours after the chaotic shooting, victims and families were still trying to process and gather facts about the tragedy. One columnist for the Boston Herald, whose Twitter account says she's based in New York City, wrote about a co-worker's brother who was missing.

Suspected shooter James Holmes, 24, is in police custody. Authorities said they believe he was the only gunman.

  • Sara Dover

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