Aurora Century 16 Theater Shooting: After-Action Report for the City of Aurora

On July 20, 2012, shortly after midnight, a single gunman opened fire at the premiere of a Batman movie in the Century 16 Theater complex in Aurora, Colorado. The perpetrator killed 12, 58 were injured as a result of gunfire, and more than 20 others suffered physical injuries in the course of fleeing the movie theater. In addition to the physical injuries, many movie patrons, family and friends of the victims, first responders, and people in the community suffered psychological trauma as a result of the incident.

The City of Aurora chose to conduct an independent After Action Review (AAR) of its response, which began in May 2013. The review focused primarily on the response of the City’s emergency forces during the first three days, including actions by police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS), private ambulances, hospitals, public safety communications, and public information personnel. The first week of family and victim assistance, assistance to first responders, and healing support for the community was also included in the AAR.

In April 2014, the AAR entitled Aurora Century 16 Theater Shooting: After Action Report for the City of Aurora was released. The goal of the report was to provide a sufficiently detailed description of the events and actions taken by the City’s emergency personnel—so that readers would understand the key aspects—then evaluate what was done, draw lessons learned, and make recommendations for the future. In total, there are 84 recommendations for the future, based on the lessons learned, that should be of interest beyond Aurora.