A horrible and tragic incident has occurred in Aurora, Colorado on early Friday morning, July 20. While a room full of eager movie-goers gathered to watch a late night showing of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises”, a gunman wearing dark clothing came into Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall around 12:30 a.m. and begin firing shots.
Twelve lives were claimed and about 38 people injured when the shooter fired at the packed room. The suspect, James Holmes, purchased a ticket for the movie then once inside the movie theater, propped open an emergency exit door which he used to retrieve his weapons and exit. He then entered the dark movie theater armed with three weapons and a tear gas canister. Holmes first threw the canister into the room, waiting for the gas to disperse, then began shooting at all the innocent victims.
The suspect was arrested outside in the parking lot, near his car. Police officers found Holmes, 24, wearing a gas mask and carrying a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. Officials believe that Holmes was a lone shooter and acted alone. Holmes is currently in custody and refusing to speak.
After being arrested, Holmes had told policemen that he had explosives at his apartment. F.B.I. agents and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents have evacuated Holmes’ apartment complex as they investigate his place. Firefighters were seen with an ax breaking an apartment window. Police officers are saying that Holmes’ apartment appears to be booby-trapped and that it will be a few hours or even days before they can safely enter the home.
Holmes has no criminal records in Colorado or in San Diego, California where he had been living prior. There are also no records of the suspect ever serving in a military branch. Holmes had graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2010 with a degree in neuroscience. Officers still cannot find any immediate motive or reason for the killer’s actions.
President Obama had addressed the situation in a speech in Florida, telling Americans to “stand together” and to be united during this time of tragedy. He also told listeners that “there are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.” Bringing up his daughters, the President mentioned how he and his wife, Michelle Obama, will hug their daughters a little tighter tonight and know that they were fortunate. He also called for a moment of silence and reflection time.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Right now is a time of morning for the people out in Colorado who have been affected by this ordeal. Wrongful death crimes are never comprehensible and it will never make sense why James Holmes decided to take the lives of innocent victims. We will continue to keep the murdered victims and injured individuals in our thoughts during this difficult and grievous time and are hoping for quick recoveries for those harmed.