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Suspected Gunman in Colo. Shooting Appears Dazed in Court

Monday, July 23, 2012

The suspected gunman in the Colorado shooting looked dazed when he appeared in court Monday for the first time since the shooting rampage that left 12 people dead during the premiere of the new Batman film last week.

His eyes drooping as he looked at the floor, the 24-year old former graduate student with orange-red hair sat in the jury box in a maroon jump suit, stunned as he listened to chief judge William Sylvester of the 18th judicial court.

James Holmes has been held in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility since Friday. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and he could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.

Prosecutors will have 72 hours from the hearing to formally charge the 24-year-old Aurora resident originally from California.

Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday her office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims' families.

Holmes has been assigned a public defender, and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the former doctoral student has "lawyered up" since his arrest early Friday, following the shooting at an Aurora theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, some critically.

"He's not talking to us," the chief said.

Police say Holmes, clad in body armor and armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and handguns opened fire at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

He was arrested shortly after the Friday shooting. He is refusing to cooperate, authorities say. They said it could take months to learn what prompted the attack on the moviegoers.

Holmes was brought over from the Arapahoe County detention facility and walked into the courtroom with attorneys and others.

He sat down in a jury box, seated next to one of his attorneys. His entrance was barely noticeable but relatives of shooting victims leaned forward in their seats to catch their first glimpse of him.

Some stared at him the entire hearing, including Tom Teves, the father of Alex Teves, who was killed in the shooting. Two women held hands tightly, one shaking her head.

With the Associated Press

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Comments [12]

Adam

There's going to come a time where most people who want to will be able to print the pieces for a gun. Yes, there's no reason not to ban assault rifles and make them a lot more difficult to get. There's no reason we don't have databases that would flag these multiple-gun purchases, but eventually, one has to admit you will not be able to prevent someone from getting a weapon if they desire so.

At the same time, we'll have the technology to massively scan public places for people holding weapons, perhaps even detecting irregular behavior -- security vs. liberty/privacy as a debate must evolve.

To allow for such massive scanning, for the security needed in a world where you'll be able to pirate and print a weapon -- we'll have to get rid of stupid laws against liberty... like marijuana possession. We are going to have technology that can be very obtrusive, let's make it open source and target violent crimes...yet, if the crime is non-violent; let the scanners pass.

I think government transparency and open source software and hardware is the future -- we'll be able to see the code and what it flags ourselves, and we'll have to make privacy concessions, but only after the laws maximize respect for all liberties that are non-violent.

Jul. 24 2012 01:01 AM
Bernie Siegel from NYC

James Holmes killed because he is a loner, a loser and an angry person seeking power and revenge. He planned this attack. Stop making excuses for him. Death is what he deserves.

Jul. 23 2012 08:53 PM
Ericka

the politicians are too afraid of the NRA and their like to address the
issue. Gabby Giffords was proud of her glock. easy gun possession doesnt
mesh with a civil society; some form of violence, whether driven by personal demons or religious differences, will forever be the result.

Jul. 23 2012 04:31 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Liz P-

Schizophrenia usually begins in young adulthood - late teens through mid-20s - so it is indeed possible for him to have graduated summa cum laude and then gradually begin to succumb to delusions. I know someone who had a quite brilliant high school career and was the first student from his high school to be accepted to a well-known and prestigious ivy league university only to have to drop out after six months due to schizophrenia.

I say schizophrenia because his actions were definitely those of someone who was paranoid and assembling an arsenal to defend himself from some unknown enemy. However, only after his court-appointed evaluations will we know for certain.

Jul. 23 2012 04:07 PM

I think it's yet to be proven that Holmes is mentally ill. He planned this scenario over several months showing careful thought and deliberation. He was a highly intelligent and accomplished student. He could be a sociopath or homicidal without being insane. Unless insane people can graduate summa cum laude from the University of California. As an alum, I'd say that the two are incompatible. This appears to be a rational act, one that was terribly and horribly destructive, but rational to a Holmes.

The Secret Service report analyzing school shootings (from 1975-2000) showed that they were never impulsive acts but ones that were planned out, sometimes days, sometimes a year in advance. And at the same time, the majority of school students were getting As and Bs in school.

But I guess my main point is that we know NOTHING about Holmes mental state and may not know anything until the trial which could happen months or years from now.

Jul. 23 2012 03:55 PM
cwebba1 from Astoria

How come you never print Mr. Holmes' first name in this article? Isn't it good journalistic practice to publish the man's full name at least once? Do you think that maybe you need an editor? Huh?

Jul. 23 2012 03:31 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

As I said last week, gun sellers need lists of mentally ill people (patients, at least) as well as criminals. Criminals know how to get guns illegally, and want to do so so that their actions cannot be traced. Mentally ill people get guns legally as many of them are not involved in the kinds of criminal activity that would bring them into contact with illegal weapons, and the irrational mind doesn't always make the connection between legal weapons purchases and CSI.

In any event, I'm more afraid of the crazies than I am of the criminals. Criminals act with rational intent - for the most part - whereas the crazies are completely unpredictable. Witness: Tuscaloosa, AL: July 18/19, Aurora, CO: July 19/20.

To those who say that making guns illegal means only criminals will get guns, that's wrong. As long as guns are manufactured, people who want them badly enough will get them. So how about making the manufacture of guns illegal? Oh, yeah, the NRA might object. I forgot.

We are also forgetting the proliferation of video and computer games that teach our children how to use advanced weapons before they'd ever get a chance to touch such things. How about we make those illegal? If people are unfamiliar with guns as a form of communication, they'll have to talk.

Jul. 23 2012 03:13 PM
mercedes from westchester ny

Sorry, I will address behavior on this blog... It's characterizations like "you moron" that don't allow people to not only think things through, but discuss some solution that might make us safer and still protect the individual's right to have a gun.
Outlaws will always get what they want and what they need. They are always OUTside of the law, which is the derivation of the word. However, assault rifles are just that--made for assault. It's up to us to figure out how to solve this issue. At this moment, I would hate to be any of those family members or friends who lost someone in a movie theater or will have to take care of someone who is disabled permanently or long term. The heartache must be unbearable.

Jul. 23 2012 03:13 PM
Rose from maplewood

Owning a hand gun or hunting rifle legally is one thing, having the average citizen with assault weapons in their home is quite another!
Didn't the red flags go up when this guy bought 4 different guns in one month? Then ammunition on line? Where's homeland security when it matters?
I grew up in a home with guns. my dad hunted. We ate what he caught. Still, they scared me to death, even when disarmed. My dad never kept the gun and its firing pin in the same room and ammunition was hidden. He didn't need an AK 47 to shoot deer. Why would anyone but the military need a weapon like that?
It's time to really do something about gun control. How many more innocents need to die at the hands of the unstable yet able to own an assault weapon?

Jul. 23 2012 02:46 PM
Mark

Yeah, organized criminals will still get guns but there's nothing to suggest a down on his luck and mentally ill grad student like this guy has the underworld connections to get an AR-15 and 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the black market. Guys like this and Cho have no social skills, how are they going to find and purchase illicit guns?

Jul. 23 2012 02:26 PM
That's work you moron! from Florida

Really? You think that'll work you moron. Hmmm...Because criminals follow the law. You ban those guns and they'll get them anyway and the law abiding citizens will then legally not be allowed to have them to defend themselves. Think it through.

Jul. 23 2012 12:33 PM
Harris Cohen from 07043

This is a time for President Obama to use the Bully Pulpit and ask Governor Romney to join him in requesting legislation by congress to ban all assdault guns, multiple round clips and similarly destructive arms. At the same time he should reinforce the right of all citizens to bear arms legally. It's the right thing to do and the right time.

Jul. 23 2012 11:56 AM

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