Who Is James Holmes, the Aurora Shooting Suspect?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Handout / Reuters
Handout / Reuters

James Holmes, 24, is seen in this undated handout picture released by The University of Colorado on July 20, 2012.

After news broke early Friday morning that at least 12 people were killed and 59 were injured in a shooting at Center 16 Movie Theaters in Aurora, Colo., during a packed midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, the attention turned to the suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes. Who is he? Here’s what we know so far.

According to public records, the last address associated with Holmes was about three miles from the theater, near the intersection of 17th Avenue and Peoria Street in Aurora. Records indicate that Holmes had lived at this address since May 2011. Prior to that, he lived in San Diego and Riverside, Calif., near the University of California, Riverside, campus. An official in the university registrar’s office told TIME that Holmes attended the university, but couldn’t release any specific details because of restrictions he requested on his records. The university later released a statement confirming that a student by the name of James Eagan Holmes “graduated from UCR with a BS in neuroscience in the Spring of 2010.” According to the Associated Press, Holmes was most recently studying for a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver, but withdrew from the program last month for unknown reasons.

(MORE: Shooting Rampage at The Dark Knight Rises in Colo.; 12 Dead)

A San Diego police spokeswoman told TIME on Friday morning that Holmes had no criminal record while living in the San Diego area, where he was raised in a quiet suburban neighborhood by his mother, a nurse, and his father, a software manager. The New York Post reports that Holmes led a “seemingly idyllic childhood.” He attended well-respected Westview High School, where he ran cross-country and played soccer. According to a spokesman for the Aurora police department who spoke to the Today show, Holmes had no history with police other than one minor traffic ticket. Federal authorities maintain that he was not on any watch list that would indicate that he was dangerous, and the incident is not believed to be associated with any act of terrorism. He is believed to have acted alone.

On Friday morning, a woman who identified herself as Holmes’ mother was contacted by ABC News just after the shooting. “You have the right person,” Arlene Holmes said, speaking from her home in San Diego. “I need to call the police … I need to fly out to Colorado.” San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne told San Diego’s FOX 5 News that officers are at the family’s home in the Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood to provide security at the family’s request.

(PHOTOS: Batman Movie Theater Shooting in Aurora, Colorado )

Although public records indicate that Holmes did not have a concealed weapons permit, an assault rifle, shotgun and a 40-caliber glock were all found in the theater. Police found another 40-caliber glock in Holmes’ car at the time of his detainment, according to Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates. The suspect was dressed all in black, wearing a ballistic helmet, tactical ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector, groin protector, gas mask and black tactical gloves. Some reports state that Holmes claimed the be “The Joker”. After being taken into custody, Holmes told authorities that he had explosive materials in his home. Authorities cleared five buildings in the area and searched the apartment, which appeared to be booby-trapped, according to the Denver Post. Oates told the paper that the explosive devices they found were “pretty sophisticated,” saying, “We could be here for days.”

According to information obtained by the Denver Post, Holmes described himself on his apartment rental application last year as a student who was, “quiet and easygoing.”

MORE: Eyewitness Tweets from Dark Knight Rises Shooting in Colorado 

138 comments
aracell
aracell

jaems holmes should have a better life . he should forgive and let the answer of the judge give him a chance to have a second chance. he might done what he had but there is always a chance to survive

always believe in god no matter if you do something evil and have a chance to live.

saturnx311
saturnx311

Interesting is the fact, coupled with this suspect's previous life causing no trouble with authorities at all, that james Holmes worked right in the heart of one of MK-Ultra's most active hotbeds of research in the country. Very close to Little, Colorado, where another very questionable event occurred. Witnesses at BOTH scenes said there were multiple shooters. And friends of Holmes say he would never have taken a life, let alone all that he supposedly took that night. He received a cell call, then went to the emergency exit, where many witnesses claim he signaled to someone else. Then all hell broke loose. 

Of course, there wasn't a single video to be used as evidence to what really happened.

Just like the Fort Hood massacre, we'll most likely never know the truth.

BalanceZero
BalanceZero

James Holmes is a guy that did everything right until he got sick of it.

He made his mommy happy ,he made his daddy happy,he made his teachers happy but he never made himself happy.

And he never fit in anywhere.

Holmes was an outcast in any other place but a classroom.

In his loneliness,he conceived a plan to get back at every person that looked right through where he was standing-to show the world that he was to be respected and feared.

That plan was to go out and kill people and to get famous for doing it.

Well,alot of people are dead and alot of people will never be the same for the rest of their lives-if they don't die of sdome far off surgical comnplication from the shooting.

I know why he did it and I do not care.

Whether he is sane or not ,I don't care about that either.

Millions of people live in pain everyday and they do not decide to go out and kill people.

They just live the next second in agony and get on with their lives.

Mr.Holmes should be put to death for what he did.

He can be famous as the first person executed by the same rifle he used to kill all of those people.

They should put the execution on tv.

Goodbye,Mr.Holmes,you can't die soon enough for me.

saturnx311
saturnx311

How is it that you seem to know all about what was going on in his mind? Are you his psychiatrist?

ggmary
ggmary like.author.displayName 1 Like

Schizophrenia develops in 1% of young men in their late teens and early twenties. This may have happened to him. It is difficult for the person who is developing this illness to fully recognize what it does to themselves.   Other people around the person can spot the bizzare behavior, but the person often cannot.  Being a student, he had more care than most would have had under the same cirucmstances. Should the Dr. have spoken up about his danger to society? We don't know how much she knew at the time.

ggmary
ggmary

Schizophrenia develops to 1% of young men in their late teens and early twenties. This may have happened to him. It is difficult for the person who is developing this illness to fully recognize what it does to themselves. Being a student, he had more care than most would have had under the same cirucmstances. Should the Dr. have spoken up about his danger to society?

ggmary
ggmary

Schizophrenia develops to 1% of young men in their late teens and early twenties.  This may have happened to him.  It is difficult for the person who is developing this illness to fully recognize what it does to themselves.  Being a student, he had more care than most would have had under the same cirucmstances.  Should the Dr. have spoken up about his danger to society? 

Ice Cold Troll
Ice Cold Troll

Sterling journalism. Does Time know that Glock is a proper noun and should be capitalized?

El Noodle
El Noodle

He's pissed off about something. Whatever it was must have happened around late April or early May. That was when he started planning this abomination. And yes, experts, he is faking in court. If this were simply a spontaneous act brought upon by some lapse in sanity, I don't believe he would have procured over 6,000 rounds of ammo.

Mika Saint
Mika Saint

Why did he reveal to the police about the "explosive materials"?

Surely someone so hellbent on causing the deaths of others would have let them go in and blow themselves to bits.

I find that strange. Did he get hit by guilt or...?

Marie Claire
Marie Claire

can't repeat it enough times, N Y POST:  . MASS MURDERERS DO NOT HAVE IDYLLIC  CHILDHOODS, seemingly or otherwise..  @@ Good Grief@@

USMC76
USMC76

SMOKING PISS ANT ARRIGONT  amp; SELF RIGHOUSE  TRASH IS NOT SO BAD >.HE ACTUALLY DID SOCIETY A FAVOR WAKE UP CALL

swift2010
swift2010

did no one else in the audience have a gun to shoot back

DenyseP
DenyseP

If you threatened to beat up your neighbor, you could be charged with a "making terroristing threat."  How is this different?

SmallSpeakHouse
SmallSpeakHouse

I never really understood why Americans would allow the buying and selling of assault weapons. Hunting rifles I can understand. Small self defense arms, I'm queasy about these but would understand having these inside a house (for outside, that's up for debate but I'm leaning towards no). But assault weapons? What kind of use would normal people have for these? 

GOPvictory
GOPvictory

You don't shoot do you?  Target practice, plinking, hunting, investment, self protection......

SmallSpeakHouse
SmallSpeakHouse

No you're right, I don't, though my brothers love guns. I just think it's overkill. For me the trade-off is a bit too much.

Palladia
Palladia

Two people have commented about "confusing psychopathic criminal behavior with religiously-motivated terrorism."

 

So, tell me, what is the practical difference?  This is like saying, "you are confusing alligators with crocodiles" when the actual problem is that a reptile is dining on people.

To the people, does it matter one whit whether the teeth are in the head of an alligator or acrocodile?  Is the damage to people, to their lives, to their loved ones somehow different?

The men who perform these atrocities are preying on humanity.  Do their reasons actually matter in the predation?

 

 

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

Gun control, not gun abolishment...

 

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

How about bring back death penalty, maybe use it more?

 

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

1 gun control yes, gun abolishment NO!

thomas mcguire
thomas mcguire

Is he a Muslim: what the hell is his religion?

calivianya
calivianya

 What does religion have to do with anything? He didn't say he was killing people for god, he said he was the Joker. Crazy and religious are not always the same thing.

Squeesheiro
Squeesheiro

Once more the absurdity of a country where health is not a basic right but owning guns is. What do you need guns for? Protecting yourself? From whom? People with... guns?

Viral Videos
Viral Videos

Spiderman fanboys are taking the argument to the next level.

Kathy Handyside
Kathy Handyside

Thanks a lot, NRA. You have done a fine job of turning our society into something even worse than the Wild West of the past. Hope you're proud of that. Now we can all live in fear, wondering where the next gun-worshiping lunatic will strike. All because you people lobby to not have guns and ammo regulated in any way.  You made sure that the ban on automatic weapons was repealed, so now, anyone can have them. You have ruined this country.

Chris Sky
Chris Sky

Ignorant Kathy, the USA wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for PRIVATE CITIZENS owning firearms!  So all those wonderful FREEDOMS you enjoy, and take for granted on a daily basis are ONLY there because somebody with a gun fought and died for those freedoms.   How DARE you call for disarming the very people who made the country you're living in.

Gun Control works... Just ask Stalin, Mao or Hitler.  Throughout the 20'th century there have been a dozen instances where governments first asked for license/registration and eventually confiscated firearms from private citizens. The result? Over 90 million civilian deaths at the hands of their own government.     

So take your brainwashed mushy brain elsewhere and say a prayer for the gun owners of America... They are the only reason you live in a FREE country and the only thing keeping you out of a FEMA camp.  Because all you are to your government is a USELESS EATER.   An extra wellfare payment, and future social security payment, who espouses "dangerous carbon dixiode".  In other words, to your now socialist government you are a BURDEN... and they would be extremely happy to do away with a good portion of Americans.  They'll start with the ones that are unarmed!

"To conquer a nation, first disarm it's citizens!"-Adolf Hitler. 

Congratulations.  You're espousing the exact same view of Adolf  Hitler.  

GOPvictory
GOPvictory

In the law abiding hands, guns have saved thousands of lives from from illegal owned guns. I listened to 'Gun Talk'  yesterday and they explained how to stop a well protected terrorist. It is with another gun. You better go a buy a gun for self protection, some day you might need one.

Debbie Ledford
Debbie Ledford

I wonder just how thoroughly  the cops kicked this kid's ass when they got him. He thought he was all bad with that gear, but now the system will show him just who is in charge. He probably got a dose of that when he went to grad school. It's not to hard to be a "genius" as a undergrad, once you get to grad school, especially in the sciences, you find out quick what your limitations are. That probably screwed with his head and he decide to go out as a famous killer rather than a grad school drop out. Guns don't kill, people kill. Having said that, let me point out that people can't kill and maim over 30 people in less than 5 min without serious fire power.

scallywag
scallywag

Did Holmes intend to literally copy cat the Batman reality, turn the Hollywood fantasy into some sort of lurid hyper reality? Was he attempting to use the occasion to make his own grand statement about reality, art, violence, identity, to cement his own credo as the all time villain of all time, the real Joker, the real enemy not just that of Batman but that of a live film audience, and the town of Aurora at large?

How Jason Holmes must have marveled to himself as he pummeled bullet after bullet over and over...

http://scallywagandvagabond.co...

 

gtsfze
gtsfze

These are sick people who manifest their family problems into the outside world. In many so called underdeveloped and developing countries this is greatly contained and supported within the family. Finally the "collateral losses of the modern western world".

Sankar

christinasmythe
christinasmythe

Thoughts and prayers for the families of all the victims of this tragic incident. My heart goes out to you. Someone created a memorial page for these victims on Evertalk within Facebook. There is a memorial fund on this page and people can donate to help the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. Here's the page. 

https://apps.facebook.com/ever...

Jacklyn Johnson
Jacklyn Johnson

It's so sad to hear

about this terrible shooting incident. My deepest condolences to the families

of the victims. Thanks for the heads up on the Evertalk memorial page

Christina. I will make sure to visit it.

Palladia
Palladia

Last summer, I was notified by the bank that issued a credit card that there were some unusual purchases made on the card.  Someone had bought $500 worth of flowers from a company I'd never heard of (must have been quite a funeral!) and there was another purchase of perfume, which I never buy.  I told the company that they weren't my purchases, the card was cancelled, and another one issued.  I had to sign an affidavit to permit prosecution of the false purchases.  End of story, for me.

The point of all this is, if someone makes purchases on the internet (and evidently that's where Holmes got his ammunition and some of his other goods), these sizeable,  sudden and unusual purchases should have raised some red flags, if for no other reason than that they were atypical.

So, why didn't they?  Why isn't there any question raised when someone purchases ammo by the thousand?  How come nobody noticed the purchase of several large-calibre or semi-automatic guns pretty much all at once?  That's what computers really do best: notice anomalies.

But there's something else.  For his mother to have said "you've got the right man," the family must have noticed something going wrong.  This wouldn't be the first time that a family has tried to have someone get help for a mental or emotional problem, been unable to accomplish that, and had things subsequently go badly awry. 

We have pretty much eliminated the possibility of having someone involuntarily committed for mental evaluation and treatment.  Perhaps we should reconsider that policy.  Also large purchases of ammunition or multiple purchases of guns ought to at least rate a "heads-up" in a billing department.

rosiewho
rosiewho

His mother said "you have the right person", not "you have the right man".  Since the whole phone conversation was not given in this article, I might think she just meant herself when asked if she was Holmes' mother.  The problem is taking a comment out of context - happens a lot.

polnick
polnick

 

Loners have received a bad name from people like Holmes who

has murdered twelve and Brevik who has murdered sixty nine, but not every loner

is a Jack the Ripper. Some quietly sit in their basement watching porno while

smoking weed and m-asturbating. Not every person can be a groupie; loners

deserve our respect as long as they do not murder their neighbors.

epikvision
epikvision

Why would he do this?  It's a crime against humanity for a massacre of  moviegoers.  Such violence is reserved for the big screen and the real war, not to endanger lives of innocent people. 

He probably waited for this moment to come...

nancy
nancy

Oh, and if everyone is not allowed to go out, they won't propagate anymore either. End of story.

nancy
nancy

I've GOT it. Everyone will stay home from now on. You're not allowed OUT. You will go to school online, shop online, pay bills online and watch movies online.  No one allowed out.

Palladia
Palladia

Well. . .  I make it a point to avoid crowds.  "Target-rich" environments are places that someone who wants to kill as many as possible as fast as possible will select for his attention.  It's like fish in a barrel.

Part of the problem is the difficulty of trying to predict something like this.  After the fact, we hear, "Oh, he was always a loner," or "he seemed a little funny," but "loners" and "funny" men usually get through life without killing anyone.  The problem is that if the means are available, it shifts the odds.

Jimf1975
Jimf1975

from what im reading this guy did not have a ccw permit.How was he able to buy 2 handguns?I think you should also have to have a ccw permit to purchase an assault weapon.As there is not need to have such a weapon unless for sport shooting.I understand that people are allowed to buy rifles and shotguns with a 3 day waiting period.In connecticut where i live you can get a pistol permit that just allows you to bring the gun home but not carry it concealed.But you can get a ccw permit but it is not that easy to get it takes about 6 months.I say no hanguns or assault rifles sold unless you have a ccw permit.shot guns and rifles ok for hunting but with a background check.Law abbiding civilians should have a right to ccw for protection against human garbage like james holmes.How he got tear gas is another story.  Jim F.

Dr Sam
Dr Sam

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM—A giant controlled by a few crazies, birthers, NRA President, Glover Norquist, ID laws, corrupt lobbyists and dirty money men.  This would never happen in any other Western democracy.

THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE GUN (SWORD) DIE BY THE GUN (SWORD)—JESUS

ALL THE BLAME MUST BE LAID ON THE FEET OF THE NRA, THE MOST INFLUENTIAL GUN-RUNNER AND LOBBY IN THE COUNTRY.  The NRA has resisted even the most modest proposal for gun control.  The result is the easy availability of guns for ordinary people, for criminals and war mongers.  The NRA, Glover Norquist and the like have developed such power that they are able to set the national agenda and intimidate governments and politicians, including the President.  Thus, America has become the world’s killing field and is in decline.  The NRA believes that for every gun shooting and massacre, people will make noise for a short while about gun-control and that’s it.  They go about intimidating politicians and Republican law men are particularly in their pocket.  SHAME.  The NRA should be considered a criminal organization.  They know full well that no body is asking that the constitutional right to own guns be abandoned; reasonable people are asking only for reasonable gun control.  You have a right to own gun (SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT), especially for protection and hunting; but that doesn’t entitle you to an assault rifle, aircraft guns, surface to air missiles and other weapons that have nothing to do with hunting or civilian protection. Families affected by Colorado shooting should join the NRA in any law suit.  The NRA is the problem, not a part of the solution.  ISSA, the corrupt witch-hunter wouldn’t tell you that nor would he investigate this actual gun-running organization.  Instead he spends precious time investigation bogus scandals he can dream up for his own political agenda.  NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO KILL ANOTHER HUMAN BEING—NOT EVEN THE GOVERNMENT.  The Bible says: “Thou Shall Not Kill.  It is not negotiable; it is a Commandment!  That is because blood is precious.  It is life—and no one can confer life.

Dr. Sam

nancy
nancy

 None of the people in the theater had guns. Why did they die by the sword then?

SmallSpeakHouse
SmallSpeakHouse

I think you missed the point. "Live by the sword, die by the sword" doesn't mean everyone who has died by the sword has also lived by the sword. It just means that if you do, it can also backfire on you. Violence can beget violence. It's a very good piece of advice.

Debbie Ledford
Debbie Ledford

 How do you know there wasn't someone armed in there? There just might have been. But, do you think they would have drawn a gun at some freak in body armor blazing away with a semi? Or, afterwards admitted to be holding?

sebkain
sebkain

This has nothing to do with guns, types of guns, ammo, or anything else.

This has to do with one thing and one thing only, a NUT who wanted to

kill people. If he wanted guns, he would get them legally or otherwise.

Dude is crazy period and needs to fry. If he wanted bombs he would

have made bombs, which is easy to do from household items, just watch

mythbusters. He could have mowed people down with a car in the parking

lot. He is just a NUT period. Don't make this about guns. A gun is

nothing more than a tool like a hammer or a screwdriver. And yes people

have been killed with those too. Regardless, news should focus only on

the poor victims and their families and not try to play politics with

this.

Debbie Ledford
Debbie Ledford

 Silly rabbit, you can't kill 12 people and maim a dozen more with a hammer or a screw driver.

sebkain
sebkain

 This has nothing to do with guns, types of guns, ammo, or anything else.

This has to do with one thing and one thing only, a NUT who wanted to

kill people. If he wanted guns, he would get them legally or otherwise.

Dude is crazy period and needs to fry. If he wanted bombs he would

have made bombs, which is easy to do from household items, just watch

mythbusters. He could have mowed people down with a car in the parking

lot. He is just a NUT period. Don't make this about guns. A gun is

nothing more than a tool like a hammer or a screwdriver. And yes people

have been killed with those too. Regardless, news should focus only on

the poor victims and their families and not try to play politics with

this.