Amarillo moviegoers respond to Colorado theater shooting

The tragic shooting Thursday night in one movie theater in Colorado sparked fear and raised concerns for many people across the country, including movie-goers in Amarillo.

"This just scares me that a person would do that, go in someone and start shooting innocent people," said 18-year-old Madison West.

"I worry more when she's by herself or with her friends because I don't really trust people," added 20-year-old Jessica Bramblett who was out Friday seeing a movie with her little sister.

Several local movie buffs Pronews 7 caught up with Friday admitted there were small things they felt could be done to enhance the security at movie theaters, or just large gatherings of people in general.

"They should be checking bags," added Bramblett. "Because then they would already know."

"Once you get into the theater, I've never seen a guard of usher anywhere once you're inside the actual theater," noticed visiting Clayton, N.M. Resident, Alex Arguello.

However, many of those fears weren't realized in Amarillo Thursday night. Many believed that was thanks in part to the additional law enforcement officers that were found at both local movie theaters that night.

"Lots of businesses around town, several businesses hire officers on their own to work what we call 'off-duty'", said Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department. "Picnics, parties, whatever it may be, a lot of business in town do want to make sure they have security there so they hire officers to come out and be there the entire time."

Those efforts are not coordinated by the Amarillo Police Department, but instead by the movie theaters or individual businesses themselves. Even though events like the tragedy in Colorado are not predictable or even preventable sometimes, Cpl. Neufeld said, many people are comforted by the idea of extra law enforcement being present during those large crowd situations.

"Better that they're there just because at least somebody is on the spot just in case something happens," said Bramblett.

"The security here is pretty good, I feel," added Arguello. "There's never been a problem while I've been here at all."

Of course, it's always better to be safe than sorry. That's why, Cpl Neufeld said, it's important for everyone to always been on guard.

"People just need to be aware, be alert, pay attention, notice where the exit signs are, how to get away," he said. "just be on the lookout in case something does happen."