Pleasanton, CA — Tragedy struck during the premiere of the Warner Bros. flick “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado when 23-year old James Holmes went inside a Aurora Century 16 movie theater threw in a can of tear gas and indiscriminately fired on the unsuspecting moviegoers who were busy watching the movie.
Based on the reports and witness accounts, James Holmes bought a ticket for the premiere screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Aurora Century Cineplex 16 around 12:38am he then exited through the emergency exit propped something on the door to keep it open and went to his car to retrieve the weapons he was going to use on what has been tagged as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history after the 2009 incident in Fort Hood, Texas where 13 civilians and soldiers were killed and wounding dozens of others.
James Holmes disoriented the unsuspecting crowd by throwing pepper spray or tear gas inside the theater, when the crowd started to panic, he started relentlessly shooting. After the bloodbath, 12 people lay dead while 59 more were wounded bringing the total number of victims to 71. The weapons used were AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, and a .40-caliber glock handgun, all legally bought and licensed firearms. He was like a character from that popular internet game “Counter-strike” wearing a throat and groin protector, a ballistic helmet, a vest, ballistic leggings, gas mask, and black tactical gloves.
But who is James Holmes and what pushed him to commit such a heinous act?
24-year-old James Eagan Holmes was born on December 13, 1987 in San Diego, California. The son of Robert Milton Holmes (a software company manager) and Arlene Rosemary Holmes (a nurse). He grew up in a middle-class suburban neighborhood. While attending Junior High at the Mesa Verde Middle School, he joined the Junior Varsity Soccer team. He further pursued the sport and played for the Varsity team while attending Westview High School and he was also a cross-county runner. These facts were even confirmed by the Poway Unified School District.
After graduating in 2006, Holmes enrolled at the University of California-Riverside earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Neuroscience with honors in 2010. He was also a member of several distinguished honors societies/groups which included Golden Key and Phi Beta Kappa. He was the over achiever-type of student and quickly earned his Master’s Degree also from UC-Riverside.
However, life at the Golden State is not a land of milk and honey. Due to California’s poor economy and businesses closing due to bankruptcy and other types of financial problems, Holmes was unable to find a job despite his awesome track record in school and in society. Never was he given any traffic ticket based on the records of the San Diego County Superior Court as verified by their spokesperson, Karen Dalton. There are no criminal records under his name in Riverside County, this was also verified by their spokesperson, John Hall.
The inability to find employment apparently caused his depression, his depression possibly deepened when he took a part time job at McDonalds. He then decided to decided to move to Colorado to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado-Denver’s neuroscience program.
But something must have snapped in him because prior to the shooting he had voluntarily withdrawn from the program in July evidenced by the termination of his card-entry access to the university’s research facility. He seemed to have been obsessed with the character of the Joker and dyed his hair orange. He must have confused reality with fantasy that he was indeed the Joker (one of Batman’s nemesis) and that he needed to do sinister things. He even signed up for an adult dating site.
On the night of the shooting, cops were called to his apartment because the neighbors were complaining about the loud techno music playing inside his pad. Fortunately, they were unable to respond due to the shooting because if the cops had gone into his apartment they would have set off the booby trap and the entire multi-storey building would have been blown off to smithereens.
Family members and friends who knew him were in shock to discover that he was involved in the shootings. All of them state that he was a shy young man and very intelligent especially when it came to science.
But at the wake of everything that has happened, there are 12 people whose lives had been snuffed like a candle’s flame and 59 more wounded and James Holmes is responsible for all of these. Expect a ton of wrongful death lawsuits and personal injury cases after this event.