July 21--At 1:27 a.m. Friday, integ3r opened with this police scanner dispatch:
"Bring as much crime scene tape as you can."
In the minutes after the Colorado movie theater shootings, the story slowly emerged through social media. By hundreds of tweets and Twitters, Facebook and YouTube videos the world learned in tiny bites what was happening in the Denver suburb.
But it was the postings of one 18-year-old, known as integ3r, who pulled the pieces together.
Sitting in his bedroom just a few miles from the movie theater in Aurora, integ3r, (also known as Morgan Jones) aggregated it all into one place. The site, Reddit.com, became a minute-by-minute documentation that unfurled like a minimalistic serial narrative.
Jones stayed up all night, updating, making corrections on missteps (there was just one shooter), linking to news accounts and individual tweets, answering questions when he could.
His real-time postings reached around the world. When the sun rose, journalism pundits, readers and even publications like The Atlantic praised the tick-tock account as an excellent example of citizen journalism. Other postings on the comment section of the Reddit site gave personal insights:
Peener13, who said she and her boyfriend escaped safely:
"I now know what tear gas feels like. I've never had to 'get down' with a police officer screaming at us. This is the most **--up night of my short life. I need an army of kitten photos stat."
"I'm terrified. I just heard this news. My cousin said she was going to this movie. Her cellphone wasn't answered."
"I hope she comes out of this too."
"UPDATE: can't reach her parents. I'm worried ...
"Update 2: she's in the hospital. As one smart redditor pointed out, they did not have their cellphones. It is unclear what happened, but she will be okay."
Whotalking.com/Century+16 said he was next door watching another film:
"While we thought that there was a gunman in our theater when we heard the shots, it turns out it was just one gunman in the theater over, and the shots came through the wall into ours. It sounded like pistol shots at first, and we saw smoke rising, creating immediate confusion as to whether it was a theater stunt for the film or if something was terribly wrong."
"Sun's up now, and we're going to go to the police as we were one of the few who got out before they rounded up the witnesses at the high school and let them know what we know, which isn't much."
"I'm glad you made it out. My sister (on Eastern Standard Time) called me when she woke up and saw this on the news to make sure I was not there. Call anyone who might be worried about you."
"I can't believe something like this happened. It's like we need Batman for real..."
"All my friends thought I was so silly for being terrified of The Joker. But those people are out there. Maybe not as smart, maybe not as organized. But just as crazy, and just as cruel.
"Chaos for the sake of chaos."
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