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Colorado Theater Shooting: New Updates About James Holmes

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jul 20, 2012 04:29 PM EDT

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New information about 24-year-old James Holmes, the gunman who shot 71 people, killing 12, in the U.S's largest mass shooting in history is being revealed.

Holmes who burst into the emergency exit door of a theater in Aurora, Colorado during a sold-out midnight premiere of  the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" unloaded four weapons full of ammunition into the crowd.

The 24-year-old graduate student entered the movie theater wearing a bullet proof vest, bullet proof leggings, a ballistic helmet, gas mask and gloves. He first let off smoke bombs then started to fire at innocent viewers, says police.

"The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting," said Lamar Lane to ABC news who was watching the movie with his brother. "It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running."

Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the shooting at his car behind the theatre where police found him carrying three weapons including a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, AR-15 assault rifle, and a .40 Glock handgun. The FBI hasn't found any criminal record for James Holmes.

UPDATES: Who is James Homles?

This afternoon the Poway Unified School District issued a statement confirming that James Holmes graduated from Westview High School in 2006. The statement read, "On behalf of the Poway Unified School District, Superintendent [John] Collins joins the rest of the nation in offering our deepest condolences to the victims and their families." 

Jacque Montgomery, a spokeswoman from University of Colorado Hospital confirmed that Holmes was in a neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver. He was in the process of withdrawing. Holmes had  graduated from the University of California-Riverside two years ago with a B.S. degree in neuroscience. Chancellor Timothy White said in a statement, "On behalf of the entire UCR community, I extend our deepest sympathy to the victims, their families, and all of those impacted by this tragedy. " 

At approximately 11:30 a.m. this morning Lt. Andra Brown from the San Diego Police Department briefed reporters outside Holme's mother's home. She confirmed that Brown went to high school in San Diego before moving to Colorado. Brown issued this statement to families, "Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy," the statement read. "We ask that the media respect our privacy at this difficult time ... We are still trying to process this info and appreciate that people respect our privacy." 

Holmes lives in a small apartment on Paris Street in Aurora  in a building where there were primarily other students involved in health studies. Police Chief Dan Oates said today that the bomb squads and police have found explosive devices and trip wires within his home. 
Police confirmed that the hitman said he was "The Joker" in the Batman movies. Raymond Kelly, Police Commissioner said, "He had  his hair painted red."

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