The Gathering
August 02, 2012

IT'S JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT on a warm Friday near the Town Center mall in Aurora, Colorado, a sprawling suburban city east of Denver that seems upon first acquaintance to lack a center, and the instinct is to gather. Less than 24 hours ago, at the neighboring Century 16 Theater—its trash-strewn, popcorn-covered parking lot cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape—James Holmes, 24, allegedly lobbed tear-gas canisters into the aisles and opened fire with three different weapons at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, killing twelve people and wounding 58 others.