STEUBENVILLE - While Colorado might seem far away, the effects of Friday morning's shooting are weighing on the minds of local residents.
The alleged gunman, 24-year-old James Holmes, opened fire around 12:30 a.m. MT Friday at a Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., where the long-anticipated premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing. According to reports, witnesses said Holmes entered through an emergency exit and threw two gas canisters into the theater before shooting.
A total of 71 people were injured and at least 12 were killed, according to reports.
Officers found Holmes shortly after near a car behind the theater and he surrendered without resistance. Reports indicate Holmes did not have a criminal record and was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school.
Like the rest of the country, the film is continuing to play, locally at the Carmike Cinema 6 in Steubenville throughout this weekend.
Terrell Mayton, director of marketing at the Carmike Cinemas corporate office, said it's been a sad day for everyone in the business.
"It's not been a fun day for any of us. We're moping around, and it was just a senseless shooting. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those folks that are wounded and have lost loved ones," said Mayton.
Carmike Cinemas currently owns theaters across 36 states and Mayton said those locations employ a "broad variety of security measures."
"For large events like the 'The Dark Knight Rises' premiere, we tend to bring in additional staff and we sometimes bring in uniformed or plain-clothed law enforcement. We try to serve our guests and make sure they are safe," said Mayton.
He said all of their theaters train their teams of employees in standard security procedures, and Mayton said a lot of those measures aren't visible to moviegoers.
"Having these measures in place is a part of our security and business fabric," said Mayton. "This terrible incident was on a whole different scale."
However, while the incident is on everyone's mind, it hasn't stopped ticket sales for the blockbuster film, according to Mayton.
He said ticket sales were tremendous Friday morning and throughout the afternoon, but he said that doesn't mean attendees aren't now more aware of their surroundings.
"It hasn't really affected my decision to see the movie tonight because it happened so far west, but it was certainly a sad event," said Austin Temple of Mingo Junction.
But Ryan Nonemaker of Bloomingdale seemed a little more shaken by the incident.
"It's just crazy, and it seems like people are just losing their minds lately. Someone could be in the theater with a gun right now and you would never know. Theaters should perform checks because you just never know," said Nonemaker.