2:26 PM EDT, July 20, 2012
In an afternoon news briefing about the movie theater shooting that left 12 people dead, Aurora, Colo. police could not provide any motive behind the massacre at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
They confirmed that 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Other details, such as Holmes’ attire, were also confirmed. According to Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, the suspect wore a ballistic helmet, tactical armor, throat guard and other protective pieces.
Oates said Holmes used an assault rifle, shotgun and Glock to carry out the shooting. They recovered another handgun from the suspect’s car.
“We have no other criminal history on Mr. Holmes,” Oates said.
According to the police chief, nearly 25 officers were on the scene within minutes of the first reports that shots were fired at movie theater number nine. Police said Holmes was the lone gunman.
“We are not looking for any other suspects,” Oates said. “We are confident that [Holmes] acted alone.
According to Friday’s afternoon update, 71 people were shot, including at least one person in an adjoining theater. Of those, 12 were killed and 59 were hurt. Investigators said ten people died on the scene and two died later at local hospitals.
Holmes was arrested without incident.
Oates said examining Holmes’ Aurora apartment is proving difficult because the suspect told police he booby-trapped the door. The apartment complex was evacuated so bomb technicians could investigate. The chief described “incendiary devices” and “chemicals” at Holmes’ apartment, but could not elaborate.
Several questions remain, but the biggest is Holmes’ reason for the shooting. “We are not speculating on motive,” Oates said more than once during the afternoon update.
Hundreds of witnesses are being interviewed as the people of Aurora—and the nation—try to come to grips with the tragedy.
“We will all come together. We will survive this, but there’s no way around this. It’s tough,” said Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. He added, “We will get back on our feet and we will move ahead.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper echoed those sentiments, saying, “We will come back stronger than ever.”
Another update on the shooting is planned for later Friday.