‘Dark Knight Rises’ Massacre: 8 Latest Developments
James Eagen Holmes, a 24-year-old former doctoral student in neuroscience, faced the court for the first time on Monday. Looking dazed and despondent, the red-haired alleged gunman sat silently as the judge advised him on the case.
During an early Friday premiere showing of the new Batman blockbuster, a heavily armed Holmes allegedly entered the theater through a propped-open emergency exit and indiscriminately opened fire — using an AR-15 assault rifle, shotgun and handgun — on the packed theater. He was reportedly wearing ballistic protective gear.
Holmes has been held without bond in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility in Centennial, Colorado, since being arrested early Friday. He is expected to face first-degree murder charges, and possibly additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.
Celebuzz has the latest updates on the tragedy that has shook the nation.
1. Before Friday’s massacre, Holmes sent his plans for mass shooting to a professor.
Law enforcement officials have discovered a notebook in which Holmes spelled out in surprising detail his attack on the Aurora, Colorado, Dark Knight Rises screening, according to Fox News. The notes were mailed to a professor at University of Colorado Anschutz — where Holmes attended a neuroscience doctoral program before dropping out — more than a week ago. But the package was still sealed when unearthed by police and FBI in the school’s mail room, where it had reportedly been since July 12. “Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people,” according to a source, including “drawings and illustrations” of gun-totting stick figures taking aim at other stick figures. The professor to whom it was addressed allegedly treats patients in the on-campus psychiatry facility, but it is unknown whether he had contact with Holmes. This new evidence may prove helpful in mounting a case for the prosecution, showing that Holmes methodically planned out his movie theater massacre.
2. Holmes may have solicited prostitutes.
According to an online message board, Holmes supposedly reviewed some Colorado-area hookers, detailing sexual encounters with several woman, TMZ reports. Two women TMZ reached couldn’t confirm they had a rendezvous with Holmes. But one woman, who identified herself as Tiffany, said, “I had no issues with him…he was really nice. He felt bad I wasn’t getting more customers while in Colorado, so he called a few days later and we met up again.”
3. Holmes is desperate to know how Dark Knight concludes.
“Did you see the movie?” a flat-toned Holmes asked a taken-aback jail employee on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News. “How does it end?” The witness recalls the suspect looking “like he was sincerely curious … like he had no idea why there was anything wrong with what he was saying. It was sick … I think he’s trying real hard to act crazy.”
4. Victims’ relatives are urging the media to focus less on the shooter.
Amidst the media blitz surrounding the shooting, some relatives of those killed are asking news outlets to abstain from using Holmes’ name and image. Fearing that the suspect acted out of desire for nationwide attention, Tom Teves — whose son Alex lost his life in the tragedy — made a statement: “I would like to see CNN come out with a policy that said, ‘Moving forward, we’re not going to talk about the gunman. What we’re going to say is, a coward walked into a movie theater and started shooting people. He’s apprehended. The coward’s in jail. He will never see the light of day again.’ Let’s move on to the victims. Never talk to him again.” Jordan Ghawi, whose sister Jessica was killed, explained, “I want the victims to be remembered rather than just this coward.”
5. Dark Knight Rises shooting survivor gives birth.
Kate Medley — whose husband Caleb is in a medically induced coma following the massacre — gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday morning. After undergoing three surgeries since Friday, Caleb remains in critical condition and on a ventilator. The couple attended the Dark Knight Rises premiere on their last date before 9-months-pregnant Kate was set to induced and deliver on Monday. Since the shooting, more than $100,000 has been donated to the family.
6. Following the shooting, Colorado sees a surge in gun sales.
In the three days that followed the Friday massacre, firearms sales have spiked, with buyers expressing fear about personal safety and the possibility of heightened gun control law, according to Newsday. The state approved 2,887 background checks for people who wanted to purchase a firearm — 25 percent more than the average Friday to Sunday period in 2012 and 43 percent more than the same interval the week prior. “What they’re saying is … they want to have the ability to protect themselves and their families if they are in a situation like what happened in the movie theater,” said Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den in suburban Arvada, Colorado. And similar patterns can be seen across the nation, with states like Oregon, Georgia and Washington also noting that gun sales are up.
7. Warners Bros., the studio behind Dark Knight Rises, will postpone the release of Gangster Squad.
In the wake of the mass shooting, Warner Bros. pulled a Gangster Squad trailer — which featured a movie theater shoot-out scene — from screenings on July 20. Now, the studio is pushing back the film — which revolves around Los Angeles mafia criminals in the ’40s and ’50s — from its September 7 release, eyeing a January 11 premiere instead, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The move will provide time for re-shoots, presumably to rid Gangster Squad of the violent scene at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
8. DC Comics delays release of new Batman comic book.
Out of respect for the mass shooting victims, the big-time comic publisher will postpone by a month the debut of its highly anticipated new comic Batman, Incorporated #3, according to E!. DC Comics announced the decision in a letter to retailers, due to “content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events.”