When a masked gunman entered through the emergency exit of a movie theatre in the United States on Thursday, premiering the closing part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, none envisaged the massacre that was about to unfold.
In a senseless act of carnage, James Holmes, a PhD student at the University of Colorado, shot 70 people, leaving 12 dead and scores more critically wounded in what has been classified as the largest mass shooting in United States history.
With shock still reverberating around the nation and film industry, a YouTube video has been released claiming that a Nigerian Pastor, who has a remarkable penchant for accurate revelations, had actually predicted the incident one month earlier.
“In the nation of America, they should pray,” ">the YouTube clip showed Pastor T.B. Joshua saying on Sunday 10th June 2012 during a church service. “I am seeing a man carry a gun in a gathering of people and begin to shoot. A lot of people will be killed before the man will be arrested… This is homeland security.” The prophecy was broadcast live on the ministry’s media outlet, Emmanuel TV.
During the first gun scene in the movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, Holmes, masked and dressed in black, threw a canister emitting smoke suspected to be tear gas, which partially obscured the audience's sight. He then brandished a rifle and opened fire on the crowd, picking his victims at random and only stopping to reload his weapon.
It was a scene "straight out of a horror film," said Chris Ramos, who was inside the theatre. "He was just literally shooting everyone, like hunting season," Ramos said. "There were bullet [casings] just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger, one of the witnesses told reporters afterward. "Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom," she said.
The police arrived less than 90 seconds after the first emergency calls were made and almost immediately apprehended the suspect upon their arrival at the scene. He is said to have told the police that he was ‘The Joker’, a sinister and psychotic character in Nolan’s previous adaptation of the Batman trilogy.
After the incident, US President Obama told a sombre crowd in Florida: "Such violence, such evil, is senseless. But, while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the live of another, we do know what makes life worth living.”
Flags at the White House were lowered to hall-staff in honour of the victims. "This will be a day for prayer and reflection," Obama said, calling for the country to unite as one and support the victims.
T.B. Joshua is a very popular religious figure in Africa, his predictions especially revered due to their consistent success rate. He is also well known for his close connections to Ghana’s President John Atta Mills, Malawi’s new female head Joyce Banda and Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai.