Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
July 21, 2012 permalink
On July 20 James Eagan Holmes went on a shooting spree in an Aurora Colorado movie theater during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, killing twelve people and injuring 58 more. The press now reports he was using the drug Vicodin. Side effects of Vicodin include: altered mental states (eg, dizziness, light headedness), paranoia and hallucinations.
Investigators Still Processing Scene Of Mass Shooting
Police Say They First Thought Shooter Was An Officer
AURORA, Colo. -- New details are emerging about the shooting at an Aurora movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 58 more.
7NEWS has learned that the first responding officers mistook the suspected gunman as one of their own.
James Holmes was arrested at the back of the Aurora Century 16 movie theater about 12:40 a.m. as he was leaving the theater.
Holmes was dressed in black and was wearing full tactical gear, including a ballistics helmet, a ballistics vest, a groin protector, throat protector, tactical gloves and other gear, police said.
He was well armed with an AR-15 .223-caliber rifle, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber Glock handgun, police said. Another .40-caliber Glock handgun was found in the suspect's white Hyundai behind the theater.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Holmes came with a full arsenal.
"In the last 60 days, he purchased four guns at local metro gun shops, and through the Internet, he purchased more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 3,000 rounds of .223 for the assault rifle, 3,000 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition for the two Glocks in his possession and 300 rounds for the 12-gauge shotgun," Oates said. " Also through the Internet, he purchased multiple magazine for the .223-caliber assault rifle, including one 100-round drum magazine which was recovered from the scene."
The drum could allow a shooter to fire 50 to 60 rounds in a minute -- even as a semi-automatic, Oates said.
ABC News reported that Holmes identified himself as the Joker, and that his hair had been dyed to resemble the villain played by Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight." Police declined to comment on that detail.
7NEWS has learned Holmes legally bought the firearms at a Bass Pro Shop and Gander Mountain Guns within the last several months. The first gun was bought in May.
Oates gave no motive for the attack. The FBI said there was no indication of ties between Holmes and any terrorist groups.
Investigators said they have no idea how many rounds were fired, but that it was many.
One source believed the ammo drum for the AR-15 had jammed sometime during the shooting.
Sources describe an eerie scene with dying and wounded people on the floor, strobe lights flashing through the smoke, screaming sirens and the Batman movie playing in the background.
The incident started with Holmes in the theater watching a movie for a few minutes. Witnesses said he left and returned dressed in the body armor and tactical gear, according to sources.
He threw what appeared to be tear gas grenades and began firing three weapons according to sources.
Holmes then exited the theater, where he was confronted by at least two officers.
While Vicodin comes in pills of 500 mg and up, the source indicated that police were told Holmes took 100 mg of Vicodin.
Moviegoers said they did not know what was happening when they heard a hissing sound and smelled smoke. Some thought the attack was part of the movie, since it occurred during a battle scene about 20 minutes into the movie. Then they saw a silhouette of a person in the smoke at the front of the theater near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd.
"There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger said, adding that the gunman fired steadily except when he stopped to reload.
Seeger said she was in the second row, about 4 feet from the gunman, when he pointed a gun at her face. At first, "I was just a deer in headlights. I didn't know what to do," she said. Then she ducked to the ground as the gunman shot people seated behind her.
She said she began crawling toward an exit when she saw a girl about 14 years old "lying lifeless on the stairs." She saw a man with a bullet wound in his back and tried to check his pulse, but "I had to go. I was going to get shot."
Many of those injured or killed were young adults, teens or kids. The victims range in age from 4 months to 45 years old. The 4 month old has been discharged and is doing well, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Police said 911 calls started coming in 12:39 a.m. Police said officers were on the scene with 60 to 90 seconds and immediately arrested the suspect.
Victims were rushed to hospitals in police cars by responding officers because there were not enough ambulances.
Ten people died in the theater, two more died at the hospital, Aurora police said. The bodies were not removed from the theater until late Friday afternoon.
Witnesses told 7NEWS that the gunman opened fire in Theater 9, but bullets also pierced the wall with the adjacent Theater 8 injuring moviegoers.
Witness Shayla Roeder said she saw a young teenage girl on the ground bleeding outside the theater.
"She just had this horrible look in her eyes .... We made eye contact, and I could tell she was not all right," Roeder said.
The Aurora police response was swift, since police headquarters is less than a mile away from the theaters. More than 250 police officers from across the metro area -- from Brighton to Jefferson County -- were also called out to respond to the mass shooting.
Source: KMGH Denver
Addendum: A sidebar to this story shows that the function of men in the family is not just be beat up their wife and children. Three men died shielding their girlfriends.
'Dark Knight Rises' shooting: Three heroes died in Aurora taking bullets for their girlfriends
In final acts of valor, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora cineplex into a shooting gallery.
Three survivors of the Colorado movie-theater massacre escaped with minor wounds, but were left with broken hearts because their heroic boyfriends died saving them.
In final acts of valor, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora cineplex into a shooting gallery.
Blunk’s girlfriend, Jansen Young; McQuinn’s girlfriend, Samantha Yowler; and Teves’ gal pal Amanda Lindgren made it out of the bloodbath — but they would have been killed had it not been for the loves of their lives.
“He’s a hero, and he’ll never be forgotten,” a tearful Jansen Young told the Daily News of Blunk. “Jon took a bullet for me.”
She was too distraught to speak more, but her mother called Blunk, 25, who had two young children from a previous relationship, “a gentleman.”
“He was loving, the kind of guy you want your daughter to be with, and ultimately, she’s alive because of this, because he protected her,” Shellie Young said.
She said Blunk, a security guard, had served in the Navy and had recently filled out papers to reenlist with a goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. “To her, he was a hero anyway because he wanted to serve his country,” she said of her daughter, who was left with shrapnel wounds to her side. “He said that all the time: ‘I was born to serve my country.’”
Jansen Young, 21, said Blunk took her to see Friday’s midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” to celebrate her graduation from veterinarian school. As the black-clad killer burst into the theater and unleashed tear gas and a torrent of indiscriminate gunfire, Blunk selflessly protected his girlfriend.
He pushed Jansen on the ground and under her seat, then threw his body on top of her, the mother said. “He was 6-feet-2, in incredible shape, which is why he was able to push her down under the seats of the theater,” the mother said. “He pushed her down on the floor and laid down on top of her and he died there.”
She said her daughter instantly fell in love with Blunk when they met at a local mall, where he worked as a security guard. “She just plain fell in love with his good looks,” the mother said. “She walked up and handed him a piece of paper and said, ‘Here’s my number.’”
“She just found it incredible that someone would spend eight years of their life in the Navy.”
Blunk’s estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, 26, of Reno, Nev., said he died fulfilling a lifelong dream. “He always wanted to be a superhero, he’s wanting to save someone or do something greater,” said the mother of Blunk’s kids, Hailey, 4, and Maximus, 2.
Blunk was scheduled to travel to Reno Saturday to see his children and resolve some marital issues, she said. “My daughter can’t comprehend it, and keeps wanting to call him,” said Chantel Blunk. “I try to tell her that her daddy loves her and will always be there.”
Randall Blunk, 47, of Reno, said his son had served in the Navy for more than five years, mostly aboard the Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. “He’s a badass. That’s just how he was. He’s not afraid,” Randall Blunk, who raised his son as a single father, told The News. “I love my boy, I just loved him.”
Jansen Young told her mother she could feel Blunk holding her tight as chaos reigned in the movie theater. She said she heard a woman nearby screaming, “I’ve been shot!” and recalled the “boom, boom, boom” of gunfire and smelling gunpowder.
“There was kind of a break in between each gunshot,” Jansen told the “Today” show. “Every gunshot, I was like, ‘This is it . . . I’m done for.’ Jon gave me one good push against that concrete again and then . . . I didn’t really feel his arms against my back anymore but I knew he was still there.”
When the shooting subsided, she realized Blunk was shot. “I started shaking him and saying, ‘Jon, Jon, we have to go . . . it’s time for us to get out of here,’” she said, adding that she tried to pull Blunk by the shoulder, but he didn’t move.
Equally heroic was the 24-year-old Teves, who hurled his girlfriend to the floor as bullets whizzed through the theater.
“He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet,” said his aunt, Barbara Slivinske, 57. “He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it.”
Samantha Yowler had a similar story of horror and heroism about her boyfriend, Matt McQuinn, whose last living act was to shield her from death. Yowler, 26, survived with a gunshot wound to the knee and is in fair condition after undergoing surgery.
McQuinn’s family credited his quick actions for saving Samantha’s life. Witnesses said he dove on top of his girlfriend as the shooting started and that Samantha’s brother, Nick, who was also in the theater, helped get her out of harm’s way. Nick Yowler was unharmed in the shooting.
“Both the Yowler and McQuinn families thank everyone for their concerns, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” the McQuinns’ lawyer, Robert Scott, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Matt perished from the injuries he sustained during the tragic events that unfolded . . . and went home to be with his maker.”
McQuinn, 27, and Yowler met at a Target store in Springfield, Ohio, where they worked. They transferred to a Target in Aurora last November.
“He was a great outgoing person,” a co-worker at the Colorado Target told The News. “We lost a great person and we still can’t picture or realize that he’s gone.”
Co-worker Shelly Aquino said she works closely with Yowler, who was to help her open the store Saturday morning. She said she cried when she opened the store on her own. “This morning was very hard, but I need to work,” Aquino said. She said she last spoke to Yowler Thursday afternoon.
“The last hug we gave each other was on Thursday. She’s a great person, she’s very responsible ... she doesn’t hesitate to help out.”
Source: New York Daily News
Addendum: Five days after the shooting the press reported that James Holmes was the adopted son of Robert and Arlene Holmes of San Diego California.
Addendum: After a week, news that Holmes was under the care of psychiatrist Dr Lynne Fenton, an expert in schizophrenia. No word on psychiatric medicine.
Who is Dr. Lynne Fenton?
(CNN) -- Dr. Lynne Fenton, a University of Colorado psychiatrist, had Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes as a patient before last week's movie theater rampage, according to a court document filed Friday.
Her name came to light as attorneys for Holmes filed a request to have a package their client sent her handed over. They argue Holmes' communications with Fenton are protected as he was her patient.
Various attempts to contact Fenton on Friday were unsuccessful.
Fenton is the director of student mental health services at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and an assistant professor, according to a resume posted on the school's website.
As director, a position she's held since 2009, Fenton sees between 15 and 20 graduate students per week for medication and psychotherapy, coordinates a team of four mental health clinicians, supervises some residents who treat students, and lectures. She also serves as a psychiatrist for between five and 10 patients, the resume states.
University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said Friday the school had no immediate comment.
Fenton has held many jobs over the years. She worked as a physician in private practice in Denver from 1994 to 2005, and was chief of physical medicine with the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio, Texas, in the early 1990s, according to the resume. Since 2008, she's won various grants and contracts to study schizophrenia.
Fenton did her undergraduate work at the University of California, Davis and earned her medical degree from Chicago Medical School in 1986.
Holmes is accused of opening fire inside a crowded midnight screening of the new Batman film last week, killing 12 people and wounding more than 50.
Addendum: Eight months after the attack, the press reports that Holmes was on psychotropic drugs. Police searching his apartment found prescription medication for sertraline, a generic version of Zoloft used to treat depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder; and Clonazepam, usually prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks.
James Holmes' psychiatrist warned he may pose threat
Unsealed documents in the Colorado theater shooting case reveal that the suspect told his university psychiatrist a month before the attack that he was having homicidal thoughts.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — About a month before the Aurora movie theater rampage left 12 dead and at least 70 injured in July, James E. Holmes told a psychiatrist he was having homicidal thoughts and she concluded he could pose a danger to the public, according to documents released Thursday.
University of Colorado-Denver psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton told a campus police officer about her concerns June 12, the day after she met with Holmes for their only session. Her fears were revealed Thursday when the new judge presiding over the case unsealed a host of search warrants and arrest documents.
Fenton also told Lynn Whitten, a campus police officer, that after she stopped seeing Holmes he "threatened and harassed her via email/text messages," the documents said.
Whitten deactivated Holmes' ID so he could not get into university classrooms and laboratories, the documents say. That appeared to contradict what university officials have said: that Holmes was not banned from the university because of a threat but because his ID was deactivated as part of the normal student withdrawal process.
It was unclear whether Aurora police knew of Holmes' threats before they interviewed Whitten on July 21, the day after the mass shooting. Holmes, now 25, is accused of opening fire during a premiere of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises."
The once-promising neuroscience doctoral student at the university is charged with 166 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. He had flunked an oral exam in early June, began withdrawing from the university June 10 and met with Fenton on June 11.
Details about the case have been tightly sealed from the earliest days of the investigation. Yet on Thursday, District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. reversed previous rulings on public access and made public the arrest affidavit and 12 search warrants.
Samour took over from Chief Judge William Sylvester on Monday after Dist. Atty. George Brauchler of Colorado's 18th Judicial District announced he would seek the death penalty.
Sylvester withdrew because of the time constraints that come with a capital punishment trial, which would leave him little time for administrative duties. Holmes' trial, initially scheduled to begin Aug. 5, has been pushed back to February at the earliest.
Holmes' attorneys are widely expected to use an insanity defense. They had offered a guilty plea in return for a life sentence without possibility of parole.
The newly unsealed documents give glimpses not only into the early hours of the investigation but into Holmes himself. A search warrant for his apartment — which had been booby-trapped, presumably to kill anyone who entered — revealed a student's life that seemed at once mundane and bent on destruction.
Along with chemicals used for explosives, rounds of ammunition, pistol cases and paper targets, police seized movie posters, video games, apartment lease papers, numerous computers, 48 containers of beer and other liquor and stacks of school textbooks. They found prescription medication for sertraline, a generic version of Zoloft used to treat depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder; and Clonazepam, usually prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks.
And they found a Batman mask, the documents say.
Much of the information in the documents had come out at Holmes' preliminary hearing in January. Moviegoers at the Aurora theater on July 20 told police they saw a man who fit Holmes' description sit in the first row but then leave through the emergency exit before the movie started. At 12:38 a.m., an assailant burst through the emergency door, threw a canister of tear gas and began shooting.
Police have said records show Holmes went on a shopping spree that started in May, amassing semiautomatic weapons, large quantities of ammunition, military-style gear, chemicals that could be used for explosives and tear gas canisters.
The documents also shed some light on a notebook that Holmes mailed to Fenton, which was found in a university mail room after the shooting. The notebook was described in search warrants as brown with a placard on the cover that said "James Holmes." Also written on the outside of the notebook were the words, "My Life."
Police said "it appeared to be a journal," but the writings were "unknown." Tucked into the notebook were twenty $20 bills that had been burned. There was a sticky note on the outside with an infinity symbol on it.
The notebook, which is still sealed, has been a bitterly contested issue. The prosecution says it should be admitted into evidence, but the defense says it is part of doctor-patient privileged communication.
Next week the judge will continue to hear arguments on whether a FoxNews.com reporter will have to divulge her law enforcement sources who told her about the contents of the notebook despite a gag order.
Source: Los Angeles Times