Information 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 TacticalGear.com. 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.