Hours after 24-year-old James Holmes opened fire inside an Aurora, Colorado movie theater screening Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy-closer "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 moviegoers and wounding dozens more, the director issued a statement saying he was "devastated" by the gruesome rampage.

Nolan's thoughts were posted to the film's official Facebook page Friday, expressing condolences to the families and friends of the victims:

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.

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.

Authorities are still piecing together what motivated Holmes, who was enrolled at the University of Colorado's graduate neuroscience program, to commit such a brutal crime. One former classmate of Holmes' told Huffington Post that he was a "smart kid," while another noted he was a "quiet loner."

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