July 23rd, 2012
11:40 PM ET

Controlled detonation in suspect's apt.

CNN's Randi Kaye tracks the progress explosives experts are making at the Aurora shooting suspect's rigged home.

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
11:38 PM ET

Questioning Aurora suspect's sanity

Experts say the Colorado theater shooting case is likely to drag on for a long time. Jeffrey Toobin, Mark Geragos and Mary Ellen O’Toole discuss the evidence in the trial of the shooting suspect.

Former FBI profiler, O’Toole, says there are three myths surrounding this case that she wants to set straight.

Myth 1: Someone who engages in such extreme violence cannot also be extremely intelligent
Myth 2: Someone who engages in this kind of extreme violence has to be ‘crazy’
Myth 3: Someone who engages in this kind of extreme violence must come from a dysfunctional family

“Those are three myths I think are being put out there and they’re simply not my experience in working these kinds of cases,” O’Toole tells Anderson.


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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
11:29 PM ET

Aurora shooting victims honored at memorial

Friends, family and residents of Aurora, Colorado, gather to remember the victims who died in the movie theater shooting.

Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
11:23 PM ET

Girlfriend: Shooting victim is a hero

Navy veteran Jon Blunk, a 26-year-old father of two, was killed protecting his girlfriend in theater 9.

When the gunfire started he shielded her from the bullets. “He laid up against me and had the other side of my body against the concrete seating and I was pretty much boxed in due to Jon,” Jansen Young tells Anderson.

“It’s been a traumatic experience,” she says, “but today’s better than yesterday.”

Young wants people to know that Blunk was a hero before this. He used to say that he was born to serve his country.

“Remember the things that are special,” she says. “It helps to talk to people that love you.”

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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
11:13 PM ET

Anderson Cooper remembers the victims in Aurora

Stories of heroism, zest for life and a birthday celebration that turned tragic emerged as family and friends spoke of loved ones killed in Friday's mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater.

Almost all of the 12 victims were young - including a 6-year-old girl who had just learned to swim - with so much life ahead of them.

The cause of death in all cases is related to gunshot wounds, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office.

Jonathan T. Blunk, 26

Jonathan Blunk served five years in the U.S. Navy. He was supposed to fly Saturday to Reno, Nevada, to see his wife Chantel, his 4-year-old daughter and his 2-year-old son.

"We were going to have a family day," said wife Chantel Blunk.

Instead, she put away the dress her daughter had picked out to wear to the airport. "I tried to tell her we wouldn't see Daddy anymore, but that he would still love us and look over us."

The couple married in 2007 and separated in 2010, she said. The pair remained on good terms after Jonathan moved to Colorado. Blunk died shielding his girlfriend from the gunfire inside the theater.


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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
10:33 PM ET

Hero dies saving girlfriend in theater attack

The alleged Colorado movie theater gunman made a court appearance today, giving the world the first look at the 24-year-old’s flaming red and orange hair. During the hearing, several relatives and friends of the victims sat in the front rows of the courtroom, among them were Tom Teves, whose son Alex, died in Friday’s shooting rampage. “I wanted to see what he looks like,” Mr. Teves told Anderson tonight on 360. “He doesn’t look like much,” he added.

Mr. Teves went on to say, “It’s not about him. I just wanted to see him and I wanted to see there’s people who care and aren’t afraid of him.”

Mr. Teves is urging everyone to focus only on the victims, not the alleged gunman.

“Alex was all about life,” said his father. “He just wanted to help people.”


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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
07:23 PM ET

Letters to the President #1281: 'Fair Play'

Reporter's Note: President Obama gets a letter from me each day.

Dear Mr. President,

If I were the guy in charge of Penn State (and, to be clear, I am not) I guess I would just quit playing football altogether for the next four or five years. I’d take the time to reassess what the strengths and weaknesses of my university were, how athletics could help or hurt the mission, and then I would decide if it was time to kickoff again.

It’s not a perfect plan, I’ll admit, especially for a fine school with a long history of winning. But the calamity of the sex scandal there has brought such a booming penalty from the NCAA, that I’m not sure I can see the point in Penn even fielding a team. I know there are some fine young athletes expecting to play for the school next fall, but I’m not sure I know why. Their path will be exceedingly difficult with the highest rewards already ruled out of reach.

I’m even less sure I understand the business of expunging of all the team’s wins over all those years. Sure, that allows the NCAA to destroy the record of Joe Paterno, which in turn could lead to him being posthumously kicked out of the hall of fame, sparing college football continued embarrassment. But it also seems to wipe out the accomplishments of hundreds of young athletes who did nothing but play their best and win. I realize that many people will dismiss such concerns with “it is only football” shrugs, but certainly at the time those young man played it meant something special to them, and they did nothing wrong. So it seems wrong that they should be punished, too, even if only in a ceremonial sense.

Still, I guess it is a fire the school will have to endure as part of the atonement for the things that went so terribly wrong.

Hope all is well with you. Call if you can.


Tonight on AC360: Honoring the Colorado Shooting Victims
The twelve victims who died in the movie theater mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
July 23rd, 2012
06:38 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Honoring the Colorado Shooting Victims

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper is broadcasting from Aurora, Colorado at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. He'll honor the shooting victims, tell their stories and speak with a few family members who will share personal memories.

It’s been another heartbreaking day in Aurora, Colorado, as people struggle to come to terms with what happened when a gunman opened fire in a packed movie theater on Friday. At least 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded in what’s considered one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. In the face of grief, so many people are speaking out honoring the victims and remembering the lives that were cut too short by a senseless act. Here are some of the moving tributes:

"I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man, my grief right now is inconsolable, I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable. Lord why, why, why????. I sit here and resist this entry however I feel I must, in disgust, in dismay, in prayer, I love you my daughter Rebecca, we all will miss you."
– Steve Hernandez on Facebook, father of 32-year-old shooting victim Rebecca Ann Wingo.

“Her dreams were cut short and we are going to try to sustain those dreams as we move forward. She was an asset to her friends, an asset to her family, an asset to her community."
– Jordan Ghawi, brother of shooting victim 24-year-oldJessica Ghawi

"(Veronica was) a vibrant little girl ... just was bragging about learning how to swim on Tuesday."
– Great-aunt of the youngest victim, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan

“It’s not surprising to me that his first thought would be her. That’s what a man does: He protects his loved ones. I’m very proud of him. I’m going to miss him.”
– David Jackson, stepfather of Matthew R. McQuinn, 27, who lost his life shielding his girlfriend from the bullets (told to CNN affiliate WHIO)


Filed under: 360° Radar • Colorado Shooting
July 23rd, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Remembering the Aurora, Colorado shooting victims

Twelve innocent lives perished in the Colorado theater massacre on Friday. Among those who died were sons, daughters, parents, friends, and members of our nation’s military. They were each robbed of their future by a cold-blooded gunman.

Heartbroken loved ones continue to grieve, strangers mourn, and we're all left wondering why senseless acts of violence are allowed to happen. One deranged, merciless criminal can destroy life in an instant. The twelve victims in Aurora are gone forever, but not forgotten.

Tonight Anderson Cooper honors their memory and tells their stories. Some of their family members will share personal anecdotes and reflect on the extraordinary loss. Join us at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Colorado Shooting