Locals send prayers involving a massive shooting rampage at Aurora’s Century 16 cinema viewing of “Dark Knight Rises” film. Updates continue to filter through Colorado’s darkest hours. The investigation begins involving the theater’s shooting deaths, the injured, the 24-year-old gunman and his booby-trapped apartment.
Aurora Colorado, like most of the nation, prepared for another installment of the “Dark Knight” Batman series. But no one, in their right mind, prepared for what happened next. Grenades filled with “irritants” were tossed before random gunfire claimed victims between the ages (thus far) of 3 months to age 45.
Darkest hour of the “Dark Knight Rises”:
Just before 12:39 a.m. the “Dark Knight Rises” scene with Cat Woman robbing Bruce Wayne plays. Soon after, a gunman wearing head-to-toe Swat-like gear (including groin, throat protective gear and gas mask) enters the theater emergency door of one “Dark Knight Rises” showing of four sold out shows.
The audience thought the 5’8″/5’9″ gunman was a show prop until he took out two green grenades filled with “irritant” spray, took out the pins, and tossed them one at a time. The shooting rampage began as the gunman used his own special effects in the massacre.
At 12:39 a.m. the first logged 911 call, of hundreds to follow, reached dispatchers. Within a minute and a half police arrive on the scene and storm the Century 16 cinema yelling for people to run. Cops noted a “pepper spray” scent. Command post was then located at the Mall. There were so many injuries, including a pregnant woman, that police had to transport some of the injured to area hospitals themselves. Six hospitals continue to assist the injured.
12 dead – 59 injured with 10 victims inside of theater and 2 die after arriving to a hospital. Some of the injured still remains in critical condition. Four legal weapons (rifle, shotgun, 2 Glocks) were involved. Three used at the scene. No word if the gunman used the Glock found in his vehicle.
The suspect was arrested in the parking lot. His white Hyundai (with sunroof) was located behind the theater. Colorado police held a conference confirming that they believe the gunman acted alone, however, witnesses suggest a man walking towards the back of the theater after receiving a phone call minutes before the shooter entered an emergency door which should have been locked for entry with exit availability.
Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates confirmed that one bullet found a way into an “adjoining” theater. Authorities center on the theater and the shooter’s apartment. Oates suggests that he has never seen anything of this magnitude.
50 detectives on scene. 100 FBI agents on scene. ATF on scene. Jim Yacone, FBI agent, confirmed that this act is not terrorism related.
No speculation of motive. Oates also answered a question many are pondering. Why “Dark Knight Rises” out of all movies? No one knows.
The gunman’s apartment has been confirmed as booby-trapped with LOTS of trip wire (incendiary devices) and chemical elements. It may take days before anyone enters 1690 Paris Street (apartment 10). Residents have been evacuated.
Witnesses share the dark massacre:
Witnesses claimed that the shooter appeared strong and acted as if it were just another calm cool and disturbingly collected day as he walked out “casually” into the night. Some claim his “special effect” was some form of wire which raised his body in the theater, HOWEVER, that has NOT been confirmed.
Meanwhile the nation learns of the identity of the gunman.
James Eagen Holmes:
James E. Holmes was born 12/13/1987. The past Colorado University student is a Neuroscience Ph.D. candidate. This guy may not be stupid when it comes to chemistry. James Holmes own mugshot appears smug with a “joyful-like” smile as if he accomplished his (tragic) goal. He did not appear obnoxious to witnesses.
The only Colorado run in with police involves a traffic summons/speeding ticket during Oct. 2011.
Holmes is due in court on Monday.
The suspect’s family requests their privacy. Andra Brown of San Diego Police requested “respect of family and neighborhood.” The suspect’s family released a statement suggesting that their “hearts go out to those involved in this tragedy.” The family claims they are cooperating with authorities and that they, too, are having a hard time processing the information.
The political world gathers prayers:
Gov. John Hickenlooper stated that “hearts are broken” over this “senseless tragedy.” Hickenlooper described the shooter as one with a “deranged mind.”
Mitt Romney actually stated that he stands by President Obama and the First Lady on sending prayers. “There will be justice for those responsible but that is for another day.” Mitt stressed compassion and asked Americans to show some compassion for those near and around them in this sad day and so forth.
What mindset unleashed the “Dark Knight Rises” darkest hours?
Most can agree that anyone willing to shoot at random with a booby-trapped home not only has something to hide, they have lost their mind. Similar to the Joker, the shooter made his mark like a hunter randomly shooting at prey.
The Joker, played by late Heath Ledger, used booby-traps and mentally impaired humans to fly under police radar in “The Dark Knight” 2008 film. A reminder of the Joker taunts “Dark Knight” followers as reality sets in – this is the real deal. But if you’re thinking of the old “Dark Knight” curse, forget about it. This is no curse. Just one man (possibly two considering witness accounts of the already noted man on phone), one (tragic) goal, planned accordingly.
The “Dark Knight Rises” film premiered at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City on July 16. Warner Bros announced to cancel the upcoming “Dark Knight Rises” premiere in Paris. Good call on Warner Bros part. Especially when the shooter lived on Paris Street in Colorado (eerie coincidence).
North Carolina, and I speak for many, sends prayers to family and friends of those who are forced to deal with this difficult time.
Tips and observances?
Locals are urged to contact (303) 739-1862 if they have family/friends in Colorado who may know anything for which Colorado police could benefit involving this investigation.
Wrapping this up with the first words spoken by late Heath Ledger at the beginning of 2008 “The Dark Knight”:
“And here we go.”
Related: CNN Live
(Accessed live 7/20/2012)