Accused theater Shooter, James Holmes, was arraigned this week in Aurora, Colorado for the killing rampage that began during the opening screening of the Warner Bros film, "The Dark Knight Rises."
The details surrounding the events, according to the Aurora Police Department, that unfolded at the AMC Century 16 Theater during the midnight presentation on July 20, 2012, at about 12:39 a.m., indicate a lone gunman entered the theater, engaged two smoke or “irritant” foggers and as audience members attempted to evacuate opened fire.
The mass casualty mentality was evident as Holmes, had the wherewithal to engage the viewers in what is known as a “fatal funnel.” This action during a shooting, as people drop to the ground for protection, is to toss smoke bombs low so when attempts to escape are made individuals who stand are systematically massacred.
Holmes, was armed with an automatic weapons, a 12 gage shot gun and two automatic handguns; he entered the theater with close to 7000 rounds of ammunition. The four total weapons found inside the theater and on the suspect were purchased legally at a local gun shop and the ammunition purchased online.
Even with the rapid response of Aurora Police who arrived on the scene within 90 seconds of the first 911 call and within 90 seconds of the first shooting, Holmes was able to fire enough rounds to injure a total of 70 victims, mortally wounding 12. Holmes was approached in the theater’s parking lot and surrendered without struggle. At the time of arrest he was wearing full body bullet proof “ballistic” gear including throat and groin protector and gas mask.
As the situation unfoled, APD along with other investigative agencies, inclduing the FBI attempted to search the suspected shooter's apartment located at 1690 Paris Street. "There were," according to APD, "multiple booby trapsin the apartment, along with IED'sor IID's, trip wires and accelerants with trigger mechanism." after the safe evacuation of the building law enforcement officials deemed it necessary to evacuate five additional buildings. A search of Holmes' apartment resulted in the controlled detonation of approximately "30 various devices and an additional 30 aerial shells."
The suspect was enrolled in the University of Colorado Denver’s Graduate Program in Nueroscience and not the Doctoral program as previously reported. He recently left the program voluntarily. All evidence at this time lends investigators to believe that Holmes acted alone.
There has since been a gag order issued and no further information regarding this case will be given. Chief Daniel Oates, of the Aurora Police Department, offered the following statement in response to the court orders: “The Police Department’s highest priority is the successful prosecution of this case. We are determined to achieve justice for the victims. We are well aware of the media and public interest in this case, but we ask for patience and understanding. Because of these orders, we simply cannot make any further comment. All of us must await the outcome of our judicial process.”
Several organized charities have been created to deal with the outpouring of support. If you would like to aid the victims and/or survivors donations can be made via this link: GivingFirst.org.
Information contained within this article was obtained through the Aurora Police Department