‘Dark Knight Rises’ Massacre: 11 Latest Developments

By: Cory Lopez / July 23, 2012

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Just three nights after gunfire killed 12 and injured dozens in a theater outside Denver, Colorado, thousands gathered for a Sunday vigil in front of Aurora’s city hall to remember those who fell victim to suspected gunman James Holmes’ midnight movie mass shooting.

James Eagen Holmes, 24, has been identified as the man who opened fire during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises at an Aurora, Colorado, cinema early Friday. Holmes, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, allegedly entered the theater through a propped-open emergency exit about 30 minutes into the local premiere of the Batman blockbuster. He was heavily armed, toting an assault rifle, shotgun and handgun when he indiscriminately opened fired on the packed theater. Holmes is now in custody after police arrested him in the Century 16 movie theater’s parking lot shortly after the attack. In addition to the 12 who were killed, 58 were injured, local Police Chief Dan Oates confirmed.

Celebuzz has the latest updates in the tragedy that has shook the nation.

1. James Eagan Holmes is to be arraigned Monday morning.
The suspected shooter has been held without bond in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes, who has been assigned public defender James O’Connor, will be moved Monday to a next-door courtroom for a 9:30 a.m. MDT hearing. He will be presented with charges against him, including first-degree murder and possibly counts of aggravated assault and weapons violence.

2. Holmes’ family is expected to break their silence.

The suspect’s family members, who live in his hometown of San Diego, California, have not spoken out publicly since the allegations against him. They released a short statement Friday via local officials, saying they did not wish to be disturbed “at the time of this tragic event.” The family is now expected to speak out a few hours after Holmes’ Monday morning court appearance.

3. Death penalty is on the table.
Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers will charge Holmes in his trial and therefore will decide whether to seek capital punishment. The district attorney has prosecuted two of the three inmates on Colorado’s death row. The state has executed only one person since 1967 — rapist and murderer Gary Lee Davis in 1997, according to the NY Post.

4. A Batman mask was found inside Holmes’ booby-trapped apartment.
As they cleared out dangerous materials, investigators unearthed a Batman mask and poster inside the apartment of Holmes, law enforcement told The Associated Press. With orange-red hair, Holmes masqueraded as Batman’s arch enemy, The Joker, when he opened fire at the midnight premiere.

5. Holmes had only one transgression on his legal record.
Holmes’ single brush with the law in Colorado appears to have been a 2011 summons for speeding from Aurora police, according to CNN.

6. Shooter’s motive is still unclear.
The suspected gunman is refusing to cooperate, according to authorities. It could take months for officials to uncover the motive behind the shooting.

7. Holmes seemingly stocked up ahead of rampage.
Holmes spent months stockpiling guns, ammunition and head-to-toe ballistic protection gear. The alleged attacked bought four guns and over 6,000 rounds of ammo in the last 60 days — without raising any red flags with authorities.

8. The names of the victims have been released.
War veterans, college students, an aspiring sports journalist and a six-year-old girl were among those who lost their life in the attack. As of late Sunday, 17 remained hospitalized and 8 are in critical condition, according to CNN.

9. Obama flies in to visit victims and console the city of Aurora.
President Barack Obama met privately with some of the wounded and victims’ families at the University of Colorado Hospital on Sunday.The Commander In Chief also spoke with Jordan Gwali, the brother of Jessica Gwali, who was killed in the shooting, according to the LA Times. Gwali has since led an effort to keep the focus on the victims, rather than the alleged gunman. Tweeting after the meeting, Gwali said the President agreed to support his initiative.

10. There could have been more victims if the shooter’s semiautomatic rifle had not jammed.
Witnesses of the shooting said one of the alleged gunman’s weapons appeared to jam during his onslaught, according to CNN. Among the three guns used during the rampage was a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, which had a separately purchased 100-shot drum magazine. The attachment apparently had trouble feeding bullets into the firing chamber, which is a common problem when the gun is fired rapidly. If the gunman had not ran into rifle problems, his shooting spree could have caused more casualties.

11. Investigators uncover an Adult Friend Finder profile appearing to belong to Holmes.
While Holmes seems to have little-to-no social media presence, officials are now looking into a profile posted on sex website Adult Friend Finder. The profile — created by a 24-year-old Aurora man — contains photos of what appears to be Holmes sporting fiery red hair, a law enforcement source said. The site refuses to confirm the identity of its users, and the profile has since been taken down.

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