Connections between "The Dark Knight Rises" as a movie and the Aurora, Colorado shooting that claimed the lives of at least 12 victims are bound to be pointed out in the days and weeks ahead. But there is at least one potentially harrowing link between the two right now: according to an ABC News report, shooting suspect James Holmes has identified himself to authorities as The Joker.
New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters today (July 20) that the 24-year-old shooting suspect informed Aurora authorities that he "was The Joker." Additionally, Kelly said that the alleged gunman had dyed his hair like the fictional Batman menace.
"We have some information, most of it is public," Kelly said, as reported by TMZ. "It clearly looks like a deranged individual. He had his hair painted red, he said he was 'The Joker,' obviously the enemy of Batman." (Joker's hair color is actually green, as readers of the comics and viewers of the films well know.)
ABC News cites two additional federal law enforcement officials who confirm "the details of The Joker costume." The identities of these officials have not been revealed. Police have said that Holmes was armed with bullet-proof gear and a gas mask as well as two handguns, a shotgun and an automatic rifle at the scene of the crime.
During a press conference Friday, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Holmes was dressed all in black, including a ballistic helmet, ballistic leggings, throat and groin protectors, a gas mask, black tactical gloves and a bullet-proof vest — denying reports that the suspect looked like the Batman villain. "He was dressed as described, not like the Joker," Oates said.
Holmes' family offered the following written statement regarding the tragedy: "Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved."
In a press conference earlier Friday morning, President Barack Obama said that "we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil, is senseless. It's beyond reason."
"Our time here is limited and it is precious," the president added. "What matters at the end of the day is not the small things, not the trivial things that so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it's how we choose to treat one another, and how we love one another."
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