The suspect in the shooting at a Colorado theater is reportedly telling police he’s the Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis and is known for chaotic violence. This, according to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
The suspect is 24-year-old James Holmes and is in the Arapahoe County Jail in Centennial, a suburb of Denver. Aurora police chief Dan Oates is refusing to comment on a possible motive, saying it’s being investigated,but does confirm 12 people are dead and 58 more injured in the shooting during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Oates says evidence shows Holmes recently bought four guns and six-thousands of rounds of ammunition, having the ammo delivered to both his home and workplace. He also mentions Holmes bought several magazines for an assault rifle, including a high-capacity drum magazine.
He describes Holmes as a man who came ready for destruction. Oates says Holmes had four guns, including firearms found in his car and was wearing special garments including a gas-mask,helmet, vest, leggings and a groin protector when taken into custody.
Oates is a former NYPD deputy chief. He’s also a lawyer and a senior fellow at Long Island University’s Homeland Security Management Institute.
Witness Paul Otermat says he was on the other side of the theater when Holmes began his shooting spree. He says Holmes threw tear gas near where he was sitting and then opened fire with a shotgun.
Authorities found a maze of trip wires, liquid explosives, jars filled with ammunition and even things that resemble mortar rounds at Holmes’ apartment. People that live in the apartment building and nearby buildings spent the night in an evacuation center.
The FBI says the apartment turned up multiple containers of flammable material set to explode. FBI Special Agent Jim Yacone says the bomb squad disabled a series of potentially deadly devices including a tripwire near the front door.
Explosive devices packed into the 800-square-foot apartment could have killed first responders and destroyed the three-story building. An inventory of items shows at least 30 aerial shells filled with gunpowder, two containers full of liquid accelerants and containers full of bullets that could have exploded in a fire.
Meanwhile one of Holmes’ neighbors say he may have tried to use loud music to trick police into entering his apartment. The woman who lives under his apartment unit says techno music started blaring in the middle of the night and she thinks Holmes rigged the stereo with a timer, since he wasn’t at home.
Another neighbor says it’s “insane” to think he was living near a mass murderer. Jackie Mitchell says he woke up to the noise of police as they descended on the home of the shooter.
Across town, doctors say it was an “all hands on deck” situation after a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. Dr. James Denton said victims admitted at the Medical Center of Aurora have a variety of injuries.
He says it’s the worst case of mass violence he’s seen since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Denton says most of the injuries are bullet wounds, others are from shrapnel while a few are injuries suffered in the stampede to get out of the theater.
He says the victims have experienced shock, but they’re being cooperative with medical staff. He says one victim thought someone had set off fireworks in the theater and persisted in that belief even though he was at a hospital.
Swedish Medical Center spokesman Nicole Williams says three people came into her center with serious injuries. She says all three had bullet wounds to various parts of their bodies.
In San Diego, where Holmes’ family lives, a local police officer spoke on their behalf saying they are cooperating with authorities. The statement continued to say that “we are still trying to process this information” and expressed sympathy for those killed and injured in the rampage, while asking for privacy.
Continuing in Southern California, Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy spoke before their game in San Diego about the shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Tracy says the team is thinking of the victims of the shooting.
Regarding sports, an aspiring sportswriter from Texas is one of the 12 people killed. Jessica Ghawi, who made her start covering the San Antonio Rampage and working as an intern at a local San Antonio radio station.
She moved from San Antonio to Denver and worked for the Colorado Avalanche radio and TV broadcasts. Ghawi wrote under the name Jessica Redfield and was a writer for the sports website “Busted Coverage.”
She was at the movie with a friend, Brett Lowak, who survived the attack. The 24-year-old Ghawi had recently escaped the Eaton Centre Mall shooting in Toronto, June of this year, that left one dead and seven injured.
As the latest Batman film climbs to record-breaking heights at the box office, Warner Brothers is choosing to postpone money talk related to the movie. The studio says it’s keeping silent about the movie’s earnings out of respect for the victims.
Rentrak, the media measurement company that releases box office data, also announced it would also suspend its reporting of Worldwide Weekend Estimates. However it’s already known, “The Dark Knight Rises” made 30-point-six-million dollar from its midnight screenings.
The films publicity team also canceled première events for the film in Paris, Tokyo and Mexico City in the wake of the tragedy. And speaking of our neighbor’s to the south, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon is calling current gun laws in the U.S. “mistaken” and is asking for a review from Washington.
Calderon posted his comments on Twitter, offering his condolences to the United States in the wake of the mass shooting. He tweets “Because of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, the American Congress must review its mistaken legislation on guns.”
This isn’t a first for Calderon. In February he unveiled a huge sign on the Mexico-U.S. border reading “No More Weapons!” creating the letters from recycled guns.
Continuing along the political front, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper described the shooting as an “isolated event” by an “unspeakably troubled individual.” After the press conference, Hickenlooper took a ride to Wyoming on train to help celebrate Cheyenne Frontier and raise funds for those affected by the event.
President Obama says the aftermath of the shooting massacre should remind the nation that, quote, “We are united as one American family.” At a campaign event in Fort Myers, Florida, Obama called the shooting tragedy a “heinous crime.” He said, “Such violence, such evil, is senseless.”
Congressional leaders are also expressing shock and sadness about the shooting massacre. GOP House Speaker John Boehner called the tragedy an act of “incomprehensible evil,” saying in such occurrences, “Americans will pull together and embrace our national family more tightly.”
And not one to wait for the dust to settle on a tragedy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his weekly radio address, called on Obama and Mitt Romney to lay out their plans to combat gun violence. Bloomberg has participated in many campaigns to strengthen gun laws and says there are so many murders with guns every day, that it has to stop.
As for the director of the movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” Christopher Nolan is speaking out on the shooting tragedy that will forever be tied to his film. Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of the film, Nolan expressed “profound sorrow” for what he called a “senseless tragedy” and “an appalling crime.”
He added, “I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on-screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.”
“Batman” star Christian Bale says he feels “horror” and that his heart goes out to the victims and their families. The actor released a statement saying, quote, “Words cannot express the horror that I feel.”
Actor Gary Oldman who also appears in the new Batman movie as “Commissioner James Gordon,” is expressing condolences. In a statement Oldman says, “My prayers and deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families of this horrific act.”
Holmes has an attorney and will have his first court appearance on Monday, July 23.