As I was watching my favorite Friday night television program last night, I thought it odd that Friday Night Smackdown (taped on Tuesday Night) was in San Diego, California, the hometown of James Holmes.
It struck me that the violence and mayhem that I was watching last night was carefully choreographed.
What happened Friday Morning in that movie theater in Colorado was all too real…and horrifying.
The Los Angeles Times has the background of the murderous psycho responsible:
James Holmes, the suspect in the “Dark Knight” movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., took Advanced Placement classes in high school. He wanted to get into a good college. At UC Riverside, he earned merit scholarships. He was quiet but kind.
That was the portrait that began to emerge Friday from people who knew Holmes, 24, when he grew up and studied in California. None of those interviewed by The Times said he showed any signs of violence or anger.
Holmes graduated from Westview High School in San Diego in 2006.
A former high school classmate, Keith Goodwin, 24, now a Columbia Law School student, said he had a couple of conversations with Holmes during an AP European history class at Westview. He called Holmes a “generally pleasant guy.”
“James was certainly not someone I would have ever imagined shooting somebody,” Goodwin said.
Tori Burton, 24, now a fellow with the National Institutes of Health, said Holmes was part of Westview’s cross-country team for at least one year.
“He was very quiet,” she said. “He was a nice guy when you did occasionally talk to him. But he was definitely more introverted.”
Dan Kim, a 23-year-old student at UC San Diego, called the suspect a “super-nice kid,” “kinda quiet” and “really smart.”
Kim said Holmes took multiple AP classes and had an academically inclined circle of about five to 10 friends.
“He didn’t seem like a troublemaker at all,” Kim said. “He just seemed like he wanted to get in and out, and go to college.”
Professors at UC Riverside recalled Holmes as an honor student and could provide no clues that would indicate he was capable the violent attack that left 12 people dead and dozens of others injured, Chancellor Timothy White said.
White said professors who knew Holmes expressed shock and disbelief about the movie theater shooting at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. He said that many on campus were still trying to understand happened.
White said counseling is being offered to faculty and staff who may have known Holmes.
“He was an honor student, so academically, he was at the top of the top,” White said. Holmes graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience in 2010.
Kelly Huffman, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Riverside, said Holmes was in her Drugs and Behavior class in 2010 and did well in what she said was a challenging course. She described him as “a smart and quiet guy.”
Huffman said that she spoke Friday with the teaching assistant who led the course’s smaller discussion section that Holmes attended, and that the assistant didn’t recall the shooting suspect. “So that probably means he [Holmes] was pretty quiet,” Huffman said.
White said Holmes had received merit scholarships and was considered a very good student.
According to local officials in Aurora, at least 12 people were killed and dozens were injured in the attack by the gunman, who wore body armor and a gas mask when he entered the movie theater in the Denver suburb after midnight Friday.
He then set off at least one canister of gas and opened fire with a variety of weapons, officials said.
The attack came about half an hour into the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” an eagerly awaited summer epic that had fans lining up for hours and scalpers reportedly selling tickets for as much as $300.
Twelve innocent Americans were killed and 59 were injured.
…24-year-old James Holmes unloaded four weapons’ full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd.
The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Holmes, a graduate student at a nearby college with a clean arrest record, entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves. He detonated multiple smoke bombs, and then began firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium, police said today.
Bullets from the spree tore through the theater and into adjoining theaters, where at least one other person was struck and injured. Ten members of “The Dark Knight Rises” audience were killed in theater, while two others died later at area hospitals. Numerous patrons were in critical condition at six local hospitals, the Aurora police said this afternoon.
Authorities began removing bodies this afternoon, according to affiliate ABC7 Eyewitness News.
Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the 12:39 a.m. shooting at his car behind the theater, where police found him in full riot gear and carrying three weapons, including a AR-15 assault rifle, which can hold upwards of 100 rounds, a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, and a .40 Glock handgun. A fourth handgun was found in the vehicle. Agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are tracing the weapons.
According to police sources, Holmes told the officers arresting him that he was “The Joker,” referring to the villain in the second installment of the Batman movie trilogy, “The Dark Knight.” He also warned police that he had booby-trapped his apartment, leading officers to evacuate the Aurora apartment building.
Police Chief Dan Oates said today that police and bomb squads have found a large number of explosive devices and trip wires at Holmes’ apartment and have not yet decided how to proceed without setting off explosions.
The youngest victim in this senseless massacre was a precious little girl. She was only 6 years old.
Witness Alex Milano said the image he can’t forget is a police officer leaving the theater with a child.
“A cop came walking through the front door before everything was cleared up, holding a little girl in his arms, and she wasn’t moving,” Milano told CNN.
He said another moviegoer said she saw “bullet holes in the little girl’s back.”
I cannot wrap my mind around this. What sort of demons drove this 24 year old to do this unthinkable deed?
I don’t care if you are Liberal or Conservative, black, white, purple, or green, if you try to use this massacre of innocent Americans for political leverage, you are lower than a snake’s belly.
And that goes for those in the highest Halls of Power in this God-fearing Land.