SEARCH

Entries in Colorado shooting (24)

Monday
Sep242012

Colorado Shooting: Aurora Movie Theater Could Re-Open by New Year

Thomas Cooper/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- The site of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history could re-open as soon as the New Year.

The Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., has been shut down since July 20, when a gunman opened fire during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people and leaving 58 wounded.  

In August, the City of Aurora launched an online survey asking what should be done about the theater.  The majority of people who responded said they supported re-opening the theater.  Those results were passed along to Cinemark, the owner of the theater, with a letter from Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan.

“We believe that we are hearing, and indeed have heard for some time, a collective wish and desire for the theater to re-open,” Hogan said.  He added that he had consulted with victims, victims' advocates and community members about the decision.

Hogan asked for special provisions, including victim and survivor visitation, memorials and a possible change to the exterior appearance of the building to be considered.

Tim Warner, CEO of Cinemark, responded, saying the company would work with the city to determine the best way to re-open the theater.

“We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever,” he said.  “We hope the theater will be ready by the beginning of the New Year.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep072012

James Holmes Predicted to Be a 'Leader in the Future'

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) -- Newly obtained records from the University of Alabama at Birmingham show that though suspected mass murderer James Holmes was declined admission to the school, one university staffer predicted Holmes would be "a leader in the future."

The documents further reveal a perplexing disconnect between a student who appeared to have remarkable academic ability, and the 24-year-old accused of the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes is charged with opening fire July 20 inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, murdering 12 people and injuring 58 others attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.  He has not entered a plea.

Records obtained Wednesday by ABC News from the University of Alabama showed that a letter to Holmes dated March 21, 2011, said, "We regret to inform you that you have not been recommended for admission."

One unidentified university staffer who met with Holmes for an interview wrote that he was an, "excellent applicant!  Great GPA and GRE scores."

Others were not as impressed.

"He may be extremely smart, but difficult to engage," wrote one.

Another noted: "His personality may not be as engaging as some applicants, but he is going to be a leader in the future."

College transcripts obtained Wednesday by ABC News showed that while attending the University of California Riverside, Holmes earned almost all "A" grades, graduating with "high honors" in June 2010.

In subjects including biology, chemistry, economics and Spanish, Holmes received "A+" grades that helped him earn a 3.94 GPA.

In one philosophy class taken in the winter of 2010, "Ethics and the Meaning of Life", Holmes got an "A."

According to at least one former associate, however, Holmes' apparent book smarts did not translate to real-world ability.

"He was not an exceptional mind," said John Jacobsen, a former researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., where Holmes was an intern in 2006.

Jacobsen recalled giving Holmes an experiment to be conducted on a computer.  According to Jacobsen, Holmes failed.

"He was a second-rate student.  Not very good at all," Jacobsen told ABC News.

A phone call to Holmes' attorneys -- who are under a strict court-imposed gag order preventing them from talking about the case -- was not returned to ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep062012

James Holmes Got 'A's, but Called 'Second-Rate Student'

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Newly obtained college records for suspected mass murderer James Holmes highlight a perplexing disconnect between a student who appeared to have remarkable academic ability, and the now 24-year-old accused of the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes is charged with opening fire on July 20 inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, murdering 12 people and injuring 58 others attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.  He has not entered a plea.

College transcripts obtained Wednesday by ABC News show that while attending the University of California Riverside, Holmes earned almost all "A" grades, graduating with "high honors" in June 2010.

In subjects including biology, chemistry, economics and Spanish, Holmes received "A+" grades that helped him earn a 3.94 GPA.

In one philosophy class taken in the winter of 2010, titled "Ethics and the Meaning of Life", Holmes got an "A."

According to at least one former associate, however, Holmes' apparent book smarts did not translate to real-world ability.

"He was not an exceptional mind," said John Jacobsen, a former researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., where Holmes was an intern in 2006.

Jacobsen recalled giving Holmes an experiment to be conducted on a computer.  According to Jacobsen, Holmes failed.

"He was a second-rate student.  Not very good at all," Jacobsen told ABC News.

A phone call to Holmes' attorneys -- who are under a strict court-imposed gag order preventing them from talking about the case -- was not returned to ABC News.

In court, Holmes' public defenders repeatedly have suggested that their client is mentally ill.  Court documents reveal Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist while he was a graduate student at the University of Colorado.

Holmes' U.C. Riverside transcripts and other records were sent to ABC News and other news organizations from the University of Kansas in response to a Kansas Open Records Act request.  Holmes submitted the transcripts as part of his application to the University of Kansas PhD. program in neuroscience.

According to the application, three U.C. Riverside staffers wrote letters on Holmes' behalf, including director of student affairs Kathryn Jones and professors Khaleel Razak and Edward Korzus.  Emails and phone calls requesting comment were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

Iowa Graduate School Rejected James Holmes in No Uncertain Terms

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- There was something that the University of Iowa saw in James Holmes that made educators very wary of accepting the accused Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter into their neuroscience doctoral program in January 2011.

Whatever that intangible was, the professors were adamant about rejecting Holmes' application for graduate school.

According to documents released Thursday, professor Daniel Tranel wrote an email to the University of Iowa selection committee that stated bluntly, "Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances."

Tranel's reasons for rejection were not uncovered but he apparently felt more strongly about keeping Holmes out of the program than six other applicants.

Meanwhile, professor Mark Blumberg also wrote about Holmes, "I agree with Dan.  Don’t admit."

In his letter to the school, Holmes said that he was interested in the neuroscience program because his mission was to improve people, including those with cognitive disabilities.  As it happens, Holmes was eventually treated himself for mental illness, a fact that came out following the shooting rampage on July 20 that left 12 people dead and 58 injured at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes did get accepted to the University of Colorado Denver graduate school but dropped out shortly before the shooting incident because of poor grades.  His attorneys are expected to plead insanity in his defense.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug102012

James Holmes Faces Eviction as Lawyer Seeks Insanity Defense

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- On the day when lawyers for James Holmes declared their client to be mentally ill, the accused Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter's landlord said Thursday he wants Holmes out of his apartment.

Holmes has been jailed since the July 20 shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, but an attorney for the landlord who filed papers on Wednesday says the former neuroscience doctoral student technically remains a tenant at his Aurora apartment.

The landlord's wants to kick out Holmes because he alleges that Holmes "murdered numerous individuals, materially and substantially damaged the premises and booby-trapped the premises substantially endangering property and person."

Furthermore, Holmes has to get whatever personal possessions he has left in the apartment or otherwise, they'll be kicked to the curb.  Given that a scenario like that would create a riot by souvenir collectors, it's expected other arrangements will be necessary.

Meanwhile, Holmes' defense team says it needs more time to evaluate the accused shooter's alleged mental illness, which will involve talking to prosecutors and investigators.  Holmes faces 142 criminal counts, including 24 counts of first degree murder and 116 counts of attempted first degree murder.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug092012

James Holmes Expected at Hearing over Unsealing Court Documents

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- James Holmes, the man accused of the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., last month, is expected to be in court Thursday for a hearing to address the media's motion to unseal court documents and make them public.  

The judge will also decide whether to reduce a gag order that prohibits the University of Colorado, police and attorneys from making comments on the case.

Holmes, 24, is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others when he allegedly opened fire in a crowded theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20. 

On July 30, he was charged with 142 criminal counts, including 24 counts of first degree murder and 116 counts of attempted first degree murder.

In addition to discussing the court file and gag order on Thursday, attorneys for both the prosecution and defense "can bring up anything else related to the case,” a court administrator told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Ohio Cop Busts Man with Gun, Knives at "The Dark Knight Rises" Screening

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WESTLAKE, Ohio) -- An off-duty police officer from Westlake, Ohio, is being credited for stopping what possibly had the makings of another Aurora, Colo., movie theater-style shooting spree.

The cop noticed that a man who was sitting in the back of one of the theaters at the Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park before last Saturday night's showing of The Dark Knight Rises had brought in a large satchel.

Westlake Police Lt. Ray Arcuri said that when the officer asked Scott Smith to open his bag, he discovered a loaded 9mm Glock handgun, multiple loaded magazines and three knives.

The cop, who was hired by the theater to provide extra security in the wake of the Aurora shootings, arrested Smith, who was later charged with one felony count of carrying a concealed weapon and one felony count of having weapons under disability because of prescription medications found at the suspect's home.  In addition, Smith was charged with four misdemeanor counts of carrying various weapons.

Besides the prescriptions, authorities say Smith also had more weapons at home, including six to eight pistols, rifles, shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police don't have a motive yet for Smith's actions.  Arcuri said Smith told investigators that he was unemployed and had been in the military, although they haven't confirmed whether he ever served in the armed forces.

Later, Smith’s attorney claimed that the entire incident was a misunderstanding because his client was merely trying to protect himself in case someone else decided to attack moviegoers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug032012

Colorado Shooting: Schools in Aurora Getting Ready to Counsel Kids

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- When kids return to school from summer vacation in Aurora, Colo., next Thursday, they can expect something quite different from their usual first day of class.

School officials are mindful of the trauma many youngsters are likely still experiencing following the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.

As it happened, 50 teens from Gateway High School were at the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Returns when everything suddenly turned tragic.

In an effort to help worried parents, the district plans to bolster security at Aurora schools and have more counselors on hand to speak with youngsters who might be having a hard time dealing with their emotions.

In addition, a special crisis management committee has been organized that will answer concerns of students, staff and parents.

Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry stressed, "The message here is you're not alone, you have assistance. We will come out stronger in the end."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul302012

Colorado Theater Shooting: James Holmes in Court to Hear Charges

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- James Holmes, the alleged gunman who went on a shooting spree in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20, is expected to make his second court appearance on Monday where he will be formally charged for his alleged crimes.

Holmes, 24, is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.  He is expected to face 12 counts of murder in the first degree and potentially hundreds of other counts including attempted murder and assault.

This will be the second time Holmes has appeared in court.  His first appearance in court on July 23 raised questions among some observers about his mental competency.  The suspected shooter appeared dazed with his head drooping at times.

The judge will also hear arguments on Monday about a package Holmes mailed to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Lynne Fenton.  Holmes' attorneys filed a motion last Friday demanding that the court "immediately produce all discovery pertaining to the seizure of the package."

Holmes' attorneys claim that seizing the package, which is believed to be a notebook written by Holmes, was a breach of confidentiality and they accuse the government of leaking the existence of the package to the media.

"The government's disclosure of this confidential and privileged information has placed Mr. Holmes' constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial by an impartial jury in serious jeopardy," his attorneys wrote.

Holmes' attorneys say the package is confidential communication between patient and doctor.

Fenton never received the package, but legal experts say that if Holmes ever made specific threats in their meetings, Fenton had an obligation to report them.

"It's called duty to warn or duty to protect," threat assessment psychologist Marisa Randazzo said.  

When investigators first found the package on July 23 in the mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes recently dropped out as a neuroscience student, they were so concerned that it -- like Holmes' apartment -- would be rigged with explosives, they sent in a robot to handle it.

Inside the notebook they reportedly found plans for a massacre, including drawings of a stick-figure gunman mowing down his victims.  Investigators are analyzing it to see if it could be a roadmap to a massacre.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul272012

Colorado Massacre Mailing Recalls Virginia Tech, Columbine Pattern

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- Investigators are analyzing a notebook believed to be written by James Holmes, the accused gunman in last Friday's Colorado movie theater shooting, which could be a roadmap to a massacre.

If it is, it would not be the first of its kind.  Experts say detailed, meticulously written plans are often a hallmark of mass murderers.

"Universally, mass shooters [are] all about revenge," said Brad Garrett, a former FBI special agent and an ABC News analyst.  "He wanted to pay society back for what he believed society had done to him.  And I think the notebook will talk about that."

Holmes is reported to have walked into an Aurora, Colo., theater showing The Dark Knight Rises around midnight July 20 dressed in riot gear and brandishing at least three weapons.  He allegedly set off two smoke bombs before opening fire on the movie theater patrons with an assault rifle, shotgun and a handgun, killing 12 and wounding dozens of others.

When investigators first found the Holmes package on Monday in the mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes recently dropped out as a neuroscience student, they were so concerned it -- like Holmes' apartment -- would be rigged with explosives that they sent in a robot to handle it.

Inside the notebook, they reportedly found plans for a massacre, including drawings of a stick-figure gunman mowing down his victims.

In America's overcrowded history of mass murder, nearly every perpetrator has left behind documentation.

Seung-Hui Cho, the student who killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007, mailed photos, a letter and video clips of himself reciting a garbled rant at unnamed and perhaps unknowable wrongdoers.

"Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, who inspired generations of the weak and defenseless people," he said in the video.

"You had 100 billion chances and ways to avoid today.  But you decided to spill my blood," he said.  "You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option.  The decision was yours.  Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."

In his letter, Cho even expressed admiration for fellow mass murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine High School killers.

"We martyrs, like Eric and Dylan, will sacrifice our lives to ... you thousand folds for what you apostles of sin have done to us," Cho wrote.

Those Columbine seniors, who on April 20, 1999, killed 13 people in a shooting spree in Colorado, left voluminous diaries, diagrams of the school, and ominous videos before their killings and suicides.

More recently Jared Lee Loughner, accused in a shooting spree on Jan. 8, 2011, at a Tucson, Ariz., community event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, that killed six people and wounded others, including Giffords, posted incomprehensible videos about his community college, calling it "my genocide school."

The video contained such strange narration as this: "If the student is unable to locate the external universe, then the student is unable to locate the internal universe."

The writings and videos of mass killers often seem bizarre and short on rational arguments, but they nevertheless may shed light on the motivations for the crimes.

"These attackers may be trying to be understood," said Marisa Randazzo, an expert on threat assessment and targeted violence.  "Because at the time they carry out the attack they don't feel understood.  This may be part of what is driving this personal desperation -- the feeling that they have no options left."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio