Key point 7-20.4. A church may be legally responsible for assaults occurring on its premises if similar assaults occurred on or near the premises in the recent past and the church failed to take reasonable precautions.
A federal district court in Colorado ruled that a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, could be liable for the acts of an armed assailant who killed 12 patrons. On the night of July 20, 2012, James Holmes entered the Century Aurora 16 theater complex in Aurora, Colorado, purchased a ticket for the midnight premiere showing of The Dark Knight Rises, and took a seat in Auditorium 9. During the previews he left the auditorium through the exit door to the outside, leaving it propped open with a plastic clip. He went to his car, which he had parked immediately behind the auditorium, donned body armor and a gas mask, and armed himself with a tear gas canister, a shotgun, a rifle, at least one handgun, and extra ammunition. Twenty minutes after the movie started Holmes reentered the auditorium through the exit door, disbursed tear gas, and began randomly shooting patrons. After killing 12 individuals and wounding many others, Holmes returned to his car, again through the exit door, and waited there until he was arrested by police.