FORT SILL, Okla. (KXAN) — The Army is investigating “disturbing and very specific chatter in the dark web” about a possible movie theater shooting, but reported ties to Travis County appear to be a mistake.
The original memo, prepared by a criminal intelligence analyst, said the Fort Sill CID received an intelligence bulletin 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.”
The memo said the information came from the Travis County Sheriff’s office, but TCSO spokeswoman Kristen Dark said an Army agent told her office “TCSO was accidentally credited for the information but that it was actually received from a different source.”
U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Chief of Public Affairs Chris Grey told KXAN the information actually came from the Texas Department of Public Safety Joint Crime Information Center. Grey said its Fort Sill field office did send out the original memo to a “select internal group” Monday “out of an abundance of caution to help keep our Soldiers and their families safe.”
The memo released Sept. 23 said “This notice is to have the widest dissemination to the FSOK [Fort Sill, Oklahoma] community as a potential threat within the AOR [area of responsibility]. 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 Fort Sill CID’s memo said it would monitor the intelligence and update the community if it gets new information.
The Fort Sill CID is based in Oklahoma and part of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. The network, which has offices in 30 states, is set up to collect, analyze, process and distribute information about criminal intelligence. According to its website, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s mission “is to investigate and deter serious crimes in which the Army has an interest.”
KXAN reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which said the FBI is in touch with its law enforcement and private partners about the online posts.
“As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement,” the FBI statement said.
In 2012, a man opened fire in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Twelve people died and 70 were hurt. The shooter is currently serving multiple life sentences.
This week, families of the Aurora victims have called on “Joker” movie studio Warner Brothers to combat gun violence as it prepares to release the film centered on the Batman antagonist and mass killer. CNN reports they asked the studio to end political contributions to candidates who vote against gun reform or receive money from the National Rifle Association, lobby for reforms and contribute to survivor and gun violence reduction efforts.
Warner Brothers responded saying “Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”