Christopher Nolan

Following the tragic shooting during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, the film's director Christopher Nolan has released a statement, calling it a "senseless tragedy."

Early Friday morning, a lone gunman tossed tear gas into an Aurora, Colo., movie theater before opening fire, killing at least 12 people and injuring 59 others. The suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, is now in custody and is set to appear in court on Monday.

The Dark Knight Rises shooting: Gunman kills 12, wounds 59 at Colorado theater

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community," Nolan said in a statement obtained by Deadline. "I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms, and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

Holmes was dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear and used an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns recovered at the scene, according to police. According to some reports, upon his arrest, Holmes called himself the Joker, one of Batman's famed foes who was portrayed by Heath Ledger in the second installment of Nolan's franchise, The Dark Knight.

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Earlier on Friday, Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, released the following: "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."