Wednesday marks fourth anniversary of Aurora theater shooting

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AURORA, Colo. -- A somber service is planned for Wednesday night to remember the victims of the Aurora theater shooting on the fourth anniversary of the massacre.

On July 20, 2012, 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured when a gunman opened fire inside Theater 9 of the Century Aurora 16 movie theater during a midnight showing of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”

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Overnight, the Aurora Police Department conducted its annual remembrance motorcade. Police vehicles and citizens rode together near the theater site at the exact time when the shootings began, a symbolic gesture to remember the victims.

And each year, people come from all over to express their emotions. They bring white crosses and flowers, and have set up temporary memorials.

So far, the 7-20 Memorial Foundation has raised about half of what is needed for a permanent memorial, about $100,000 out of $200,000. The foundation hopes to begin building the garden next year.

The service Wednesday at the Aurora Municipal Building begins at 6:30 p.m. It will honor the 12 who died -- Jonathan Blunk, Alex Boik, Jesse Childress, Gordon Cowden, Jessica Ghawi, John Larimer, Matt McQuinn, Micayla Medek, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Alex Sullivan, Alexander Teves and Rebecca Wingo -- as well as those injured and their familes.

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In August, the shooter was sentenced to 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years in prison. He has since been moved out of state to an undisclosed location.