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A teen who says he was just trying to scare his friends has found himself in hot water after the stunt proved too reminiscent of the Aurora shooting less than four months ago.
Police say the 17-year-old University of Colorado student showed up at a Boulder movie theater Sunday wearing a Joker mask and clown hat, causing several moviegoers to panic and flee the building.
When questioned later, the teen acknowledged that he was aware of the July 20 shooting, in which the gunman appeared inside a dark theater dressed head to toe in black and wearing a gas mask; many in the audience mistakenly believed he was simply wearing a costume as part of an opening night stunt until he opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 58. The suspect dyed his hair bright red and called himself "the Joker" after officers cornered him.
According to police, the teen said he just wanted to scare his friends. Officers did not find any weapons on him, and say he never made any threats.
The 17-year-old was taken to a juvenile detention center and faces five counts of misdemeanor menacing. Due to his age, he has not been identified.
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