The suspected “lone-wolf” shooter of the Batman movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. earlier today has been identified as PhD student James Holmes, who recently withdrew from his neuroscience studies at the University of Colorado before shooting up “The Dark Knight Rises” screening.
Holmes, 24, moved to Aurora to pursue his PhD at the University of Colorado medical center, living just blocks from the hospital in an apartment that is now laced with explosives and being searched by Haz-Mat teams.
Holmes killed at least 12 people and injured as many as 50, including U.S. military members, during the midnight premiere of the movie at the Century 16 Movie Theaters in Aurora early this morning. He barged into the theater mid-show, setting off smoke bombs and stalking up and down the aisles firing as many as four weapons at viewers.
He was captured by police in the parking lot while still wearing a bullet-proof vest, riot helmet, and gas mask.
Moviegoer Christopher Ramos today recalled the real-life horror of the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” in Aurora, Colo., as a gunman decked in riot gear set off smoke bombs and opened fire on the unsuspecting audience.
“People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me, jumping over me. And there were bodies on the ground,” Ramos said. “I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die.”
“The image in our heads is stuck in there. I still have the ticket right here and honestly, I’m never going to forget this night at all. Because it was the first time I saw something that was real. Like a real-life nightmare that was there, not dreaming of,” Ramos told ABC News today.
Holmes was caught by police in the parking lot of the movie theater shortly after the shooting still dressed in his riot gear, an outfit eerily similar to a villain in “The Dark Knight Rises.” He warned police that his Aurora apartment was booby-trapped, leading police to evacuate the apartment complex. They were working this morning to gain entry to and diffuse the apartment, which they said seems to be “elaborately” rigged with explosives.
“The pictures we have from inside the apartment are pretty disturbing considering how elaborate the apartment is booby trapped,” police said outside of the apartment complex today. The “flammable and explosive” materials could have blown up Holmes’ apartment building and the ones near it, police said.
The apartment complex is home exclusively to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and staff members, residents tell ABC News.
FBI, police say suspect’s apartment ‘booby trapped’
Aurora police and FBI officials told Denver NBC affiliate 9News Friday morning that the suspect in the early Friday morning movie theater mass shooting has “booby-trapped” his apartment with a sophisticated set up of flammable devices that could take authorities days to disarm.
“It’s pretty sophisticated the way it’s booby trapped,” Aurora’s police chief Dan Oates told 9News. “We could be here for hours, we could be here for days.”
Five buildings around the apartment of suspect James Holmes, 24, have been evacuated while authorities try to enter. The fire department is standing by. Holmes was a Phd student in neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Denver, according to university spokesman Dan Meyers. He was in the process of withdrawing from the school, Meyers said, and attended class at the medical school campus. The AP reports that Holmes had an assault rifle, shotgun, and two pistols.