July 20th, 2012
10:57 AM ET

Tonight on AC360: Gunman kills 12, wounds 59 in CO movie theater

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper will broadcast live from Aurora, Colorado tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

The man suspected of shooting up an Aurora, Colorado movie theater screening the new Batman film early Friday, killing 12 and wounding 59, also left his apartment rigged with traps, police said.

"It's booby trapped with various incindiery and chemical devices and trip wires," Aurora police chief Dan Oates said, adding that it could take days to work through the apartment safely.

Five buildings around suspect James E. Holmes' Aurora apartment were evacuated, Oates said.

Police say Holmes, 24, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear, set off two devices of some kind before spraying the theater with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns police recovered at the scene.

Oates said investigators are confident that Holmes acted alone.

The shooting unfolded inside a darkened theater packed with Batman fans, some in costume for the premiere of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises." Screaming, panicked moviegoers scrambled to escape from the black-clad gunman, who wore a gas mask and randomly shot as he walked up the theater's steps, witnesses said.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Colorado Shooting
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Julian White


    Tell these people to stop fishing for a reason to blame this mans action on. He did it and now we have to focus on recovering those people and that city. His actions should not dictate our lives, because that is exactly what he wanted in the first place. This guy went in to a place and caused panic, terror, fear and havoc on people. Now we are and the nation is changing the blame from him to other things. This is unacceptable!

    July 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  2. Lynne S

    Thankyou CNN for focusing on the innocent. I would like the name of the shooter to be a non-person; forbidden from being spoken. And his image to be a point of ridcule. Put him in an iron mask so no-one would see his face again, then stake him out in the center of town.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  3. mark in canada

    I'm a little bit curious You don't allow chocolate kinder egg in the states but you allow all kinds of different kinds of guns explain this one to me usa

    July 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  4. Jacqueline Gutierrez

    this is very sad, i have been following the news since this morning. This was apparently planned for a long time and well organized, but if his apartment is wired, has bobbie traps, chemicals, and the timer, wouldnt it be dangerous to have are bomb experts on site? what if its timed to go off at anytime? And if his apartment is so dangerous to go back too, he must of had a plan to go somewhere else if going back home was not safe. Ive been watching the news and these are 2 questions that ive asked myself and you guys have not covered. This is very scary and sad.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  5. jonathan

    Why would you bring a 4 month old baby to a midnight movie?

    July 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  6. Francis A Podrebarac, M.D.

    I won't be surprised if the theater shooter in Aurora, Colorado, has schizophrenia similar to the young man who shot Congresswoman Gabriele Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. He's at the right age age and he has the right profile.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  7. Taobird

    Anderson, Early radio report from eye witness stated a male received a cell phone call in the theater, said okay on the phone and went and opened the emergency door for the shooter. What is the follow up on this? Let me know. My cousin lives there

    July 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  8. Sharon

    He was definitely on the google plu hangouts. the fbi should look into the records. for something this tragic and senseless, i believe he was on some kind of mind altering drugs as well.

    July 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  9. Christy

    My heart goes out to all of the families of the victims of this horrendous attack. Unfortunately, acts like this, I feel, are not going to subside. It does not matter what triggered this young man to act this way! He did. There is not anything that anyone can do to reverse the effects of this. There should not be an insanity plea allowed. This was obviously a long, well thought out plan. We should not be hearing about gun control from politicians. They use heart wrenching tragedy as a boost for their campaigns. Stiffer gun laws would not have kept this man from going on this rampage. He would have acquired them some how and would have still committed this act, it just may have taken longer.

    July 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  10. Jim Rudd

    Thank goodness this wasn't the work of a Muslim, an illegal immigrant, a legal immigrant, an African American, or even a returning vet. That would have been cannon fodder for Fox News and the Republican Congress. Calls for action would have rung out across the land and legislation would surely have followed. But, it's just another crazy white kid; with automatic weapons and armor; no cause for alarm, he's OK under a particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

    July 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  11. Julian White

    I know that taking away guns in that state will not be the answer. A criminal is just as it is defined. It does not matter if I grab a baseball bat from Walmart and swing at a person, wrong is wrong. I train people in guns all the time and some have actually said that it was a major deterrence as well as saved their family from a person trying to rob them. The problem is no one sees the success stories of guns they see the bad things that a CRIMINAL does with a GUN. I pray for those people and hope this does nt hinder the nation as a whole to keep their rights.

    July 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  12. Fred Thomas

    Anderson, I’m watching the “Anchorman.” This guy has a poster of this movie in his apartment. I decided to watch to see why he was so interested in this film. He wants exposure and fame through the media. The more we show this guy and talk about this guy he accomplishes his goal. There are some individuals with devious minds who would find this guy admirable sad to say. We as a nation need to stop focusing are intentions on the character of this guy and look and find solutions. There is a problem he’s just apart of the predicament we are in. Get him off the news let people grieve their loses and not give him his time to “shine.”

    July 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  13. don garrow

    This is certainly not going to be the end of these senseless acts. You will always have people with guns! I can only guess when the next massacre takes place in COLORADO or another state. Sadly it is now common place in Canada as well, (see Toronto and Ottawa gun violence). Our Supreme Courts are defenseless and the politicians listen to NRA members. Good luck America, guns sales and profits are a way of life. United they stand!

    July 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Lourdes Orlando

      Well said don garrow!!

      July 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Stacy

      Guns don't kill people, people do. Take away my rights to own a gun. You take away my rights to protect myself, or, others. Criminals will always have guns. Don't tell me that I can't own any. Automobile accidents happen all the time. Do you walk alot??

      July 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  14. Mike Mallernee

    Hi Anderson,

    Please fnd out where the assigned Aurora police officer was at during the time of the shooting. I have been going to this theater in Aurora for many years and they have always had a uniformed officer onsite after dark. Why of all nights, was an officer not on duty during a midnight premier in a high crime area. It does not add up.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  15. George

    Why are we shocked and surpsied about Colorado massache? These people (NOT FOLKS) went to a violent movie. Violance is all over our TV channels 24/7. 450 killed in Syria and we are not shocked? Why isn't the news media asking why do we need so much violance on Tv and in Movies? After 9/11 the movie and TV industry cut back on all this killing on tv and in movies. Why are we shocked and saddened? People are killed in the USA every day higher number by guns and we are not shocked. When will we all wake up to what our country has turned into. Maybe we should turn back the clock to the 1950's. Go to church and have all stores and gas station were closed on Sunday a day to reflect. We have become unfeeling and cold at violance all around us and the news media does not say a word about it to question iteven when it happens it just news! Our news media has forgot how to question real issues, like our 16 trillion dollar deficit, imigration and how we will cover illegals on Obama care, when will we have a constitional amendment that no more US dollars go overseas to rebuild any country withour them repaying us back with a high interst rate. THE USA is not a free bank and we wonder why our deficit keeps growing? When will we wake up and small the roses? No one questions the real issues we are facing, to afraid to ask!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  16. Lourdes Orlando

    OK got the pic of the gunman now.

    July 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  17. Lourdes Orlando

    James Holmes walked in a movie theater killed and injured many,include children and they have not shown a picture of the criminal...why is that? Let see...hummm,,..thinking...He may be sick,don't know what he is doing,may be it was self defense,or "IT WAS GOD"S PLAN" Hummmm....I think it would be better to change the second Amendment for the sake of human kind if they don't then the second Amendment will be the down fall of a civilize nation.Mark my word: there will be so many people out there with weapon that the the government won't be able to control a mad mass revolution in U.S.A. Please! change the second Amendment for God sake. George Zimmerman already started with a bad example by saying;"IT WAS ALL GOD'S PLAN" That is a negative message about God. They should charge George Zimmerman for saying something like that.God is good,that's what I know and heard about God so why should killing someone would be God's plan?

    July 20, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Lourdes Orlando

      They should ban any one who kill someone of using computer network or anything else to make or receive money.

      July 20, 2012 at 11:47 am |