Christian Bale met with victims and staff at the Aurora Medical Center. (Source: Swedish Medical Center, @SwedishColorado) )
AURORA, CO (RNN) - The Denver Post reported that Christian Bale, star of The Dark Knight Rises, was in town Tuesday and visited seven people injured in the mass shooting at the film's premiere at midnight Thursday.
The actor also visited the memorial site where 12 crosses have been placed for the victims who were killed Friday.
The first funeral for the victims will be Wednesday for 51-year-old Gordon Cowden who was in the theater with his two teenage children, who survived the shooting.
An official with the Medical Center of Aurora said Bale spent more than two hours visiting patients who were still being treated. Two other patients from Swedish Medical Center also met Bale, according to the Denver Post.
Carey Rottman, who survived the shooting, posted two
photos of himself and Bale in an Aurora Medical Center hospital room on his Facebook page. Rottman also has photographs of himself with the Denver Broncos.
A spokesperson with the studio that produced The Dark Knight Rises confirmed the movie's star's visit, and said he made the trip of his own volition.
"Mr. Bale is there as himself, not representing Warner Bros.," said an assistant for Susan Fleishman, executive vice president for Warner Bros corporate communications.
Bale plays the title character in the movie, as well as in the two previous movies in the series – Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
"The patients were really happy to meet Bale," Bill Voloch, interim president of the hospital told the Denver Post, "They are obviously big fans of his movies. They wanted to see Batman and were really pleased to see Bale."
A Facebook campaign asking Bale to visit Colorado went viral after the shooting Friday that killed 12 people and left 58 injured.
"I propose we should make enough noise asking Christian Bale to visit these kids in the hospital dressed in the real Batman outfit," said a Facebook post by Emily Sanchez, who the Chicago Sun-Times credited with starting the petition. "They need to know heroes can be real too, not just the bad guys."
The suspected shooter, 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes, made his first court appearance on Monday with hair colored bright orange and a dazed, often drowsy look on his face.
Cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom during the trial, CNN reports. Aurora Police also have been placed under a gag order, preventing them from commenting on case to the public and media.
Holmes reportedly referred to himself as "The Joker" when police arrested him in the parking lot behind the theater the night of the shooting, supposedly in reference to Batman's arch-nemesis in the second film of the Dark Knight series.
Bale's visit lifted the spirits of those who were injured by the rampage, Voloch said.
"We hope it was therapeutic for them, and all the staff really appreciated him coming," he told the Denver Post.
Voloch said Bale indicated to hospital officials that he only wanted to visit the victims and the police, and asked that the media not be notified.
He and his wife, Sibi Blazic, also met with police, emergency responders, physicians and medical technicians who were among the first responders the night of the tragedy, according to the Post.
Bale and other people associated with the film released public statements on Saturday in support of the victims.
"Words cannot express the horror that I feel," Bale said in his statement. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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