Police just released the identity of the suspect gunman as a “white” man, James Holmes, 24, of Aurora. Here’s his pic:
Originally from San Diego, Holmes had withdrawn from the Ph.D. program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Denver last month. He had his hair dyed red and referred to himself as The Joker to police. His apartment is said to be booby-trapped with a “sophisticated” maze of flammable devices. It could take hours or days for authorities to disarm it. Five nearby buildings have been evacuated. Police said Holmes had no criminal record in the state.
A midnight premier screening of the third Batman movie, “Dark Knight Rises,” in a Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado, became a real-life massacre when a man set off a smoke grenade and started shooting, killing 12 and injuring 58 people.
Aurora is a suburb less than 10 miles east of downtown Denver. More than 250 police officers from across the Denver metro area, as well as emergency crews from several cities are on the scene.
The killer is described by eyewitnesses as a black-clad 6-foot-tall man wearing a gas mask and bullet-proof vest, and armed with gun and rifle. The police chief said there’s no evidence of additional shooters.
The suspect was apprehended in the rear parking lot of the theater. Police said he did not resist arrest. He made a statement to police about possible explosives at his home, so an apartment building in north Aurora has been evacuated.
The Denver Post says he’s 24 years old.
Witnesses said the gunman kicked in an emergency exit door and threw a smoke bomb into the darkened Theater 8, before opening fire. The bullets pierced a nearby theater and injured movie-goers in that theater. Salina Jordan, 19, who was in Theater 8, told the Post she saw one girl struck in the cheek and others in the stomach, including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.
A bulletin was issued to other police agencies throughout the metro area warning them of similar incidences in theaters near their jurisdictions.
Sources: WPTV.com, NBCnews.com, CNN.com