James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 moviegoers and injuring 58 at a midnight showing of the new “Batman” film in Colorado, appeared in court on Monday. Sporting his Joker hairdo, the man appeared sleepy, emotionless, and sometimes his eyes staring out blankly as if he was in a daze.
His attorneys did all the talking as he sat down in the jury box with one of his attorneys.
Holmes is expected to make a second court appearance next Monday when he will enter a plea. He is being held in solitary confinement in the Arapahoe County jail, with no bail allowed.
A gag order was also issued by the judge in the case that limited the attorneys, law enforcement personnel, and court staff from disclosing any information related to the investigation outside of court.
The Colorado shooting during the midnight opening of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” has stunned America. The lone gunman, identified as James Holmes, 24, killed 12 people and injured 59 in a packed theater in Aurora, Colo., early Friday morning and told police he was “The Joker.”
The mass shooting happened in Theater 9 in about 12:30 a.m. local time, reports said. The suspect which appeared from the emergency exit and was wearing a gas mask and body armour threw a gas canister first, marched up the aisle, then opened fire, picking off those who scrambled to escape.
The chaotic and bloody incident killed 12 people, according to reports. Victims were rushed to hospitals, some of them were listed in critical condition, while others were being treated for chemical exposure. The youngest victim is a 4-month-old who has been released from the treatment.
Holmes gave himself up outside the cinema, still clad in the body armor witnesses described the gunman as wearing.
According to NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Holmes looks like a “deranged individual,” his hair was painted red, and told people he was “The Joker.”
Police found out that he was armed with three guns at the theater, including an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun and a Glock .40 caliber handgun. An additional Glock .40 caliber handgun was found in his car parked near the theater’s rear emergency exit. According to officials, The guns were legally purchased at three Colorado gun stores.
At this point, the authorities did not release a word about the shooter’s motives.
His booby-trapped apartment made it even more harder for the authorities. Investigators have described the apartment as being crisscrossed with trip wires, they also saw jars of ammunition, and plastic bottles containing an unknown liquid.
A source from the law enforcement said that the suspect set a timer to turn on loud music from Holmes’ apartment around the time of the shooting to promt a complaint from a neighbor, lure the police into a trap, and divert the attention to the movie theater.
Over eight weeks he stocked up on 6,300 rounds of ammunition: 3,000 for his .233 semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, another 3,000 for his two Glock pistols, and 300 cartridges for his pump-action shotgun. Police have said Holmes began buying guns at Denver-area stores nearly two months before Friday’s shooting and that he received at least 50 packages in four months at his home and at school.
Holmes, who has no criminal record and no links to terrorism was described as smart, but a loner.
He was in the process of dropping out at the University of Colorado’s graduate program in neurosciences. According to the school’s statement, he enrolled at the school in June 2011 and didn’t say why he was withdrawing.
According to the school’s website, students in the University of Colorado graduate neuroscience program are “highly motivated and typically have very strong credentials for admission.”
A neighbor of the Holmes family in San Diego said Holmes seemed to be shy and said that the mother told him that Holmes couldn’t find a job after graduating.
He graduated in 2010 with honors from the University of California, Riverside, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.
Holmes’ mother is a nurse and his father is a manager at a software company. He has a younger sister.
Police released a written statement from Holmes’ family: “Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved.”
He is expected to face 12 murder charges, 58 attempted murder charges for those he wounded, and additional charges related to his booby-trapped apartment.
Warner Bros., the studio behind “The Dark Knight Rises,” which opened across the world this week has released a statement: “Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time,” the studio said.
It was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since an Army psychiatrist killed 13 soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.