AURORA, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Batman star Christian Bale visited survivors of the Colorado theater shooting Tuesday and stopped by a community memorial to victims of the attack that killed 12 people and injured 58.
Bale visited with little advance warning and also stopped by a community memorial to victims near the movie theater that was showing “The Dark Knight Rises” when the gunfire erupted.
Wisconsin native Carey Rottman, one of the 58 people injured in Friday’s shooting, posted two photos of himself with Bale on his Facebook page.
Bale first visited the Medical Center of Aurora. A large group of people could be seen outside the hospital’s entrance.
Janie Bowman-Hayes, assistant vice president of surgical services at sister hospital Swedish Medical Center, said she and co-workers were attending a luncheon at The Medical Center of Aurora to thank staff who tended to victims. “When we got there, then we found out he was there,” she said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Christian Bale Visits Colorado Shooting Victims
Bale, humble and dressed casually in a black t-shirt and jeans, thanked the staff, shook hands and agreed to have his photo taken with employees, Bowman-Hayes said.
“He just said he wanted to come to thank all of us because he has been thinking about this. He knows the whole world has been thinking about this,” she said. “He took it upon himself to come and thank us.”
One of the nurses inside the Medical Center of Aurora said that her patient who was hit by a bullet so far has had very little to say. She told him about Bale’s possible visit and the patient immediately broke out in a huge smile.
After visiting The Medical Center of Aurora, Bale stopped by a community memorial to the victims near the movie theater. He walked among the 12 crosses erected for each of the slain victims, and many people there didn’t realize who he was or chose to leave him alone.
It’s also reported that Bale visited a fire station to meet some of the first responders.
A Warner Bros. spokeswoman told The Denver Post that Bale was representing himself, not the movie studio.
There’s been an online campaign urging Bale to visit the victims of the shooting, which also killed 12 people.
Bale, who stars as Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises,” previously issued a written statement saying: “Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them.”
Some of the survivors also have received hospital visits from President Barack Obama and members of the Denver Broncos.
Bowman-Hayes and her staff cared for patients at both Swedish Medical Center and The Medical Center of Aurora after the shootings, whether it was in the operating room or intensive care unit, or by washing medical instruments. She said the staff appreciated Bale’s visit.
“He did this out of his heart, and you could really tell. It was so sincere,” she said. “It was just, ‘thank you.'”
Don’t miss a special hour long report on CBS4 on Friday at 4 p.m. titled “Movie Theater Tragedy: Remember, Honor Support” which will look back at the week following the Aurora shootings.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)