The Army has warned about a potential mass shooting being planned to take place when the new Warner Bros. film “Joker” opens in theaters next month.
A memo issued this week to Army personnel stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, said that the base’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) received intelligence about a “credible potential mass shooting to occur at an unknown movie theater during the release of the new Joker movie scheduled on October 4, 2019.”
Posted on a military Facebook page, the memo said that warning was based on “disturbing and very specific chatter” recently discovered online.
“Commanders need to be aware of this threat for soldier and family safety and to increase situational awareness should they choose to attend the release of this movie at a local theater,” the memo said.
Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, subsequently confirmed the memo’s authenticity.
“Out of an abundance of caution, our Fort Sill office distributed the memo to internal military personnel at Fort Sill,” Mr. Grey told Stars and Stripes.
Speaking to Task & Purpose, he said that the Fort Sill CID office “put out a warning … to let leadership there and a select audience know at Fort Sill that this was a potential threat, so they could take care of their soldiers.”
The memo was based on information shared with CID by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Joint Crime Information Center, Mr. Grey told the outlets.
Neither Warner Bros. nor Texas DPS immediately returned messages requesting comment.
Centered around the Joker villain from the Batman franchise, the movie’s release next month comes more than seven years after a gunman opened fire inside a cinema during the opening night of another Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.
Relatives of several victims killed in the Aurora massacre wrote Warner Bros. this week raising concerns ahead of the new film’s release.
“We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe,” the relatives wrote, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies,” Warner Bros. responded in a statement later Tuesday, Vulture reported. “Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind.”
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