Getting to know James Holmes

James HolmesInformation is beginning to emerge about James Holmes, the 24-year-old man who shot and killed 12 people at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, in Aurora, Colorado. Not only did he kill 12, he wounded another 58. It’s one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

Holmes is originally from San Diego, California. He was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. He graduated from University of California-Riverside in 2010 with a degree in neuroscience. He attended school there on a merit scholarship. People who know him describe him as smart, but socially awkward and more than a little weird.

When police arrived at the movie theater, they found Holmes behind the theater standing next to his car. He didn’t resist and reportedly told the police that he was the Joker, a fictional villain of Batman.

He was wearing a bullet resistant armor head to toe and a gas mask. He had reportedly emptied two canisters of tear gas in the movie theater before opening fire on movie patrons. Holmes armed himself at the movie theater with the following weapons:

  • Two .40-caliber Glock handguns.
  • A Remington Model 870 12-gauge pump shotgun.
  • A Smith & Wesson AR-15 rifle, the civilian version of the M-16 military rifle, equipped with a high-capacity drum clip capable of holding 100 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition.

Forget the idea that if you had a handgun, you could have defended yourself against Holmes. He was wearing full body armor and had an AR-15 with a drum clip. The air was filled with tear gas and there were hundreds of frightened people trying to get out of the theater. There was no way anyone could have defended themselves against Holmes, even if they had a handgun.

Holmes reportedly purchased his weapons legally from two chain stores, Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops. He purchased at least some of his body armor from He also reportedly purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet.

None of the stuff Holmes had comes cheap. Where did he get the money to buy everything? It doesn’t appear that he had a job or had access to a large pool of money. After all, he attended California-Riverside on a scholarship. Did he buy everything with money obtained from student loans?

I don’t get it.

UPDATE: Mystery solved. We now know where he got the money to purchase all those weapons, ammunition, and combat gear. He got free government money.

7 thoughts on “Getting to know James Holmes”

  1. I am a trained military police and Iraq & Afghanistan vet and I am confident that in this situation even with my years of training and experience it would have been difficult at best for me to protect myself and others from this guy with just a handgun. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try!

    1. This fellow is a coward, and would not have stood up to armed resistance. You should know that even with body armor, getting shot hurts, a lot. He “dressed up” in tactical gear to look sinister and scary, and went to a place where he was least likely to face armed resistance and got just the reaction he sought. If he had encountered even a newbie with a gun, he would have been out of the door as quick as his feet would have carried him.

  2. One armed citizen very likely would have had an appreciable impact on the outcome.

    His gun jammed. If someone was shooting at him, his attention likely would’ve been diverted away from unarmed citizens. Body armor or not, it would’ve forced him to defend himself and bought time for others.

    I’ll knock my tough guy Monday morning armchair off the soapbox now and ask what brought me to this site in the first place: Where *did* he get the money for all of that gear?

    1. I haven’t heard ANYONE say where the guy got money for all his gear. I doubt we ever will. It seems important to me because one of the barriers that stops weirdos like this guy from getting the weapons to do something like this is the cost associated with it.

        1. Maybe he used other people’s credit cards or otherwise stole or committed identity theft. As long as he was making payments on the loan, he prolly had some credit. But why was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic buying weapons in the first place?

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