With 12 dead and 38 wounded, some seriously, the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, 10 miles west of Denver, have so far raised more questions than answers.
At 12:30 AM Friday morning, James Egan Holmes, age 24, set off some kind of explosive smoke bomb, presumed to be a tear gas bomb, inside the Century Aurora 19 movie theater that was showing the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises and then began systematically shooting customers as they fled from the theater.
Local police cordoned off the area as injured patrons were taken to local hospitals. More than 100 FBI agents swarmed the area. Holmes was found hiding behind a vehicle in the parking lot and was taken into custody without incident. Investigators entered Holmes’ apartment when they suspected he had additional weaponry and possibly additional explosive devices stored. They found 3 handguns, a semi-automatic rifle, and a shotgun.
As might be expected, President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed their shock and surprise, and each indicated that they were praying for the victims and their families.
There appeared to be few parallels to the Columbine High School shootings in April, 1999, when two students, working together and following a plan, murdered 12 students and 1 teacher, and injured 21 other students in a rampage that ended when the two shooters each committed suicide. Nor were there parallels to the Fort Hood shootings by Major Nidal Hasan that occurred in November, 2009, resulting in the deaths of 13 soldiers and injuries to 29 more. The only parallels to those tragedies appears to be that the victims were unarmed in both cases, which allowed the shooters plenty of time to shoot, reload and then shoot again.
But there are plenty of unanswered questions, some of which will be answered in the next few hours and days. Some of the obvious ones are:
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo: A SWAT team officer stands watch near an apartment house where the suspect in a shooting at a movie theater lived in Aurora, Colo., July 20, 2012: AP Images