Tim Warner, President and CEO of Cinemark, tells NBC 5 he's shocked by the massacre at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., that left 14 dead and at least 50 wounded.
Cinemark owns the Colorado movie theater where the shooting happened. The company is based in Plano.
Warner says he got the call about the mass shooting shortly after it happened. Warner says there had been so much excitement for the “Dark Knight” and can’t believe it ended with the massacre.
“Sadness, despair. Here you have a group going out for a fun evening, and it turns into this tragic event,” says Warner.
Warner is preparing to fly to Colorado to provide whatever support he can to the victims, families, employees and law enforcement.
“I’ve been shedding a lot of tears this morning. I just feel devastated. It’s such a tragedy,” Warner says.
Warner says security has never been a concern. Warner can’t remember that there’s ever been a shooting at one of the Cinemark’s 400-plus theaters. Alleged gunman James Holmes changed all of that when he opened fire on the Colorado movie-goers.
“This is just an isolated, deranged gunman who had access to really high powered weapons,” Warner says. Since the accused killer is in custody, Warner says the show will go on. Right now the company doesn’t have any plans to cancel screenings or make any security changes.
“The person had an assault weapon that would probably overpower any security that we would have had. There is no reason for a panicked response. I do feel this was an isolated incident,” Warner says.
Warner says he is grateful for the emergency workers response in the minutes after the shooting.
Now, Warner says the company will respond to help those impacted.
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“This is just a huge, huge tragedy. For me personally, this is very heartbreaking. I just feel devastated. Cinemark's thoughts, prayers and focus are on the families, the victims, our employees and the Aurora community,” Warner says.
Warner does not believe any Cinemark employees were killed in the shooting.
NBC 5 has learned the Plano Police Department is increasing its presence at local movie theaters in the wake of the tragedy.
On Friday afternoon, at the West Plano Cinemark location on Dallas Parkway, three separate Plano PD vehicles were seen policing the parking lot.
The department did not comment about the specifics of its efforts.