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July 21st, 2012
12:43 AM ET

Shooting witness: Killer was stoic

Two survivors of the Aurora, Colorado shooting describe the terror and chaos in the movie theater during the attack.

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Robert

    If the shooter had rigged his apartment with booby-traps, then he obviously had no plans to return there after his foul deed was done. And since he didn't commit suicide, what exactly were his life plans afterwards? He planned everything out so meticulously, he must have had something in mind.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Sandra B

    Guaranteed that the alleged money that Holmes spent on ammo and such was purchased with his federal student loan money...something to think about.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  3. lori kuchenbeisser

    How are the theatre employees doing? Any body looking out for them?

    July 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  4. H. Cox

    Anderson,most of the news networks have had experts on their shows, asking them if anything could have been done to stop the type of killings that took place in the Colorado theatre.... they all said little to nothing could have been done..
    They are all wrong ! it all could probably been kept to a minimum of death and injury.... all "Emergency Exits" should be connected to local police depts..... if one of those doors open,an emergency alarm should go off at the closest police dept., and police should be dispatched immediately to the location of that emergency door.... it is basically no difference than a fire alarm going off at a theatre, there is no waiting to find out if it is real or a false alarm....
    if this plan were in place before the terror happened at the theatre, the ollice would have been there before this maniac could have gotten back inside........... these additions to the alarm systems at all theatres would be minimal in comparison to the lives that would be kept safe.....
    thank you for your time, H.Cox

    July 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  5. Joan

    There are many complicated factors that go into the causes of such horrific acts as the Batman movie , Columbine, Fort Hood and Tuscon shootings. To blame one specific group is not reasonable. For sure, there are many wonderful, law abiding members of the NRA who are probably horrified by what has taken place and may even have had family or friends at the movie last Saturday. That is the last thing they want to happen too. However, the NRA could certainly be a huge part in the solutions to this growing problem. No-one disagrees that the second amendment allows people to have firearms but that was meant to protect their homes and persons and for recreational hunting. The founding fathers would have never dreamed that people could easily buy assault weapons meant for war and thousands of rounds of ammunition to load them. That is taking the amendment too far. As one governor responsibly stated, he has no problem with the second amemdment but he also wants the first amemdment upheld also which is to protect everyone else's freedoms and safety too. The ball is actually in the NRA'S court now. They could work sensibly and compassionately right now with victim's families, police, FBI, governors, law makers, gun salesmen, mayors and everyone else to try and come up with ways to flag unreasonable requests for assault weapons and ammunition which would not in any stretch be necessary to uphold the second amendment. The NRA has a terrible PR nightmare right now and they could show everyone that they do not condone such acts and want to be part of the solution. Not only would it save their reputation, but might save lives too.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  6. dan

    Anderson, you guys said you're not going to publicize the shooter's name, but now CNN is running a commercial that shows his face and mentions his name twice...What gives?

    July 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  7. Kathryn Stotts

    Who was the shooter calling? Why could he come back in through the exit? The mother was in mental health field, so was she aware of issues? When does it become a mandate reporter on mental health issues and the massive amount of weapons he ordered. Surely something should have flagged the PO . When you order weapons does it go through a data base?

    July 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  8. Jack

    Why is no news organization reporting that, according to investifator BillWarner, a Black Bloc researcher and OWS expert, and posted on other sites, that Holmes was an active Occupy Wall Street protester and Black Bloc member? The fact that the villain in the new Batman movie is also portrayed as an OWS "type" and portrayed in a negative light...as the villain., is also interesting.

    IIf he were in the Tea Party, it would be the top headline.

    July 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Terrie

      I checked out your reference to what Bill Warner is saying, however, none of his links for verification check out. I can not verify through any of his sources where the Occupy movement states that Holmes was a member. Can you relate your source for this info?

      July 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  9. Luke Tigard

    This shooting should be a reminder that it is too easy to purchase and acquire this kind of weaponry in the United States. Why do we need to own such weapons? The chances of one human needing to shoot and kill another is very slim. We need strict screening procedures for the buying and selling of guns. It should be simple and we should have learned from the columbine shooting, from a father who explained that guns like these are not meant for hunting and should not be sold to someone for "home defense." More innocent people continue to be killed while the second amendment remains guarded by the NRA.

    July 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  10. Sandra Sutton

    If everyone agrees that these people who commit mass murder crimes do it for infamy, would the media not be saving many lives by not giving them their fame. Can these stories not be news worthy by not using the name and certainly not flashing pictures of the guilty every 15 minutes on TV. We know their names but not the names of the victims which is surely far more important. Do we really care what his name is, what he looks like and what his high school classmates have to say about him. The only reason a picture of the suspect is required is to gain the publics help in locating them. once caught cut off the publicity for the suspect. I don't understand why this is not recognized.

    July 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  11. John Koslek

    The “theater shooter” deliberated, carefully planned, and then executed his plan scrupulously. Right down to telling law enforcement that his apartment was tripped to kill. His lack of talking to law enforcement is as if law enforcement officials have not found what he wants them to find and/or see. Everyone seems to be centering on “The Dark Knight” scenario. Might I suggest a few “Criminal Minds” episodes or a combination of a few? I remeber a couple that fit the bill better than the Batman thought.

    James Holmes is anything but insane.

    July 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  12. Michel Laurin

    I found that tragedy very disturbing and I send to all the families and friend my sincere condoleences , I am from Canada and I do have a question about the exit emergency door not suppose have an alarm on it in case someone use for nothing so like that in the office where check camera that will turn on and then send someone to investigate and close that door and maybe that tragedy will never took placed I said that because I working in a warehouse and those emergency door have an alarm on it so if someone use it we know immediatly so I don't know about the security in a theater but it is something to think about

    July 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  13. Kevin Hollier

    Please stop broadcasting the picture of the shooter in Colorado. It only encourages others to seek their moment of infamy by doing some other horrific act.

    July 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  14. Jennifer Hawkins

    Mr. Cooper and Friends at CNN,
    We have been hearing on CNN and local news in Phoenix that perhaps the suspect had a change of heart or moment of clarity when he informed police that his apartment was rigged with explosives. However, since the music was set to go on at 12:00 am, and his attack on the theatre was 12:30 am, he expected, when caught by police, that he had already killed others back at the apartment. I do not believe he was in a moment of clarity or empathy. Rather, he wanted police to know that there was another mass of dead back at his home. He also clearly had no plans after the attacks. He did not commit suicide like many others in these types of attacks. He had every opportunity to flee and/or take his own life. He did not. What were his plans after all of this? Nothing. I understand that we should not care so much about what or who the suspect is, we need to remember the dead, but I would hate to see that his defense could claim any empathy and lesser punishment simply because of his admittance about the apartment. This admittance was pride of his personal death toll, that is all.

    Additionally, please consider other areas of this man's life that could be targets for terror such as his workplace or other areas of his life in which his anger is targeted. It is not my intent to promote mass hysteria, but his terror work may span outside of these two known venues.

    Thank you

    July 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  15. Pat R.

    Reading the little information known about the shooter in Colorado, I immediately didn't think schizophrenia but Asperger's. I have been around individuals with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome, and although they are all different they all share similar characteristics: the loner, awkward social skills, hyper focus on specific interest, some highly intelligent. I wonder if they will find that he was into computer "fantasy gaming". I am in no way saying we should fear people with autism or Asperger's. I have a son with low functioning autism and had an uncle who was diagnosed with schizophrenia during the '60s who I believe actually had high functioning autism.

    July 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Dana

    Does it strike anyone else as wrong that I have to show ID and go into a database registry when I purchase pseudoephedrine cold medicine but I can buy 6000 rounds of ammunition, four automatic weapons, tear gas, gas mask etc. without raising a red flag?

    July 21, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  17. kimberlyre2000

    Living in Colorado now and having lived here during Columbine, I have done a lot of self-reflection as well as watched the reactions and responses to both events and this is what I have observed.
    My children and Social Media
    The kid's Facebook page is a mixture of kids being devestated because of the event and fights with those that don't want to hear about it any more. The issue isn't who cares and who doesn't care, but it is how each person individually copes. It breaks my heart to see kids fighting Facebook because they don't think one friend cares, when actually that person probably cares but just has taken on as much as their individual soul/heart can handle so they have to step back. I think a discussion needs to be had on how people cope with tradegy so people are accept other people's reaction.
    Media – Desensitization
    Yesterday at work, even though we are only about 10 miles from the tradegy, no one in my department mentioned the tradegy initially, the mood was somber, but people carried on in a professional yet somber way. A young co-worker who just moved here from Kansas was constantly checking his phone and at lunch brought up the tradegy. It occurred to me that my other three co-workers had lived through Columbine, we knew either what it would take to get through or knew how much we could or could not take on without it greatly affecting mental state. The young co-worker did not have the same history as us and this was new for him. Did it mean we cared less, no. It ment that we had different coping skills based on our history.

    July 21, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  18. Richard

    What a nation of hypocrits the Us, is. There is all this commotion about the shootings, and the big fuss when a military dies and the the great faith nation "God bless America" etc And yet we never hear of this incredible statistic : "In the United States, 31,224 people die from gun violence each year and 66,768 other people are injured by guns yet survive" This should shame Americans to no end. Probably no other country in the world comes even close to that statistic. How can a country so great make a federal case out of Janet Jackson's nipple and not even care that they kill each other 3.6 times an hour !!!!!

    July 21, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  19. Angel Whitley

    Anderson is their any speculation on wether this may been a sick neuro experiment to see peoples reaction to a hositile situation on different ethinic groups and age groups. He knew that DKR coming to theaters and knew kids teenagers and adults would be attending the movie. He had the amount of time to plan everything and if something happened and it was a failure the apartment building could have been a back up plan or another section. Im just trying to make some sort of explaination why why certain percentage of humans kill.

    July 21, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  20. Debra

    Hello Anderson,
    I just don't understand when this guy decide to lose reality with life and decide to take others with him, and why his parents didn't get him help. My hearts goes out to all the people in Aurora and we wish the people and there families all the best and this is extremely sad. When he was purchasing all these things online why some one didn't alert the police about his purchase order of these items he bought. The police should have taken his life. Life is to short and we should not hold any hate toward anyone and remember to tell your family, friends, and love ones that you love them and give them a hug. Peace and Love to all.

    July 21, 2012 at 1:36 am |