In the midst of the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the lingering questions all seem to revolve around suspect James Eagan Holmes, specifically: “Who is this man?” and “Why did he do it?”
Not much is known yet about Holmes’ motives. It recently came to light that the suspect was a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver, but he dropped out in June for unknown reasons. The 24-year-old is originally from San Diego, according to reports from the city’s police department, and graduated from Westview High School in Rancho Penasquitos, where his parents still live. San Diego police spokeswoman Lieutenant Andra Brown told reporters Friday (July 20) that the Holmes family has been fully cooperative with authorities in California and Colorado.
They released the following statement about the shooting: “Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved.”
For a 24-year-old, Holmes has kept a surprisingly low profile online. No Facebook or Twitter pages have been discovered yet for the suspect, but TMZ reported late Friday that police are investigating a profile on AdultFriendFinder.com created under the name James Holmes. The profile features pictures of a man with reddish-orange hair — like the suspect was described to have at the screening — and includes the cryptic message “Will you visit me in prison?”
More details emerged when police searched Holmes’ apartment and discovered the “disturbing” and “sophisticated” explosives inside.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said police and FBI officers took pictures inside the dwelling, which is roughly five miles away from the location of the shootings, and that they are attempting to disarm the explosives inside. “It’s pretty disturbing. It looks sophisticated in terms of how it is booby trapped,” Oates said, adding that because of the suspected explosive devices inside, it could take hours, if not days, before the apartment is secured and all dangerous materials are removed. Fox News reported that officials have also spotted multiple “buckets” of ammunition in Holmes’ apartment.
According to other reports, Holmes was not on a terror watch list; did not have a concealed weapons permit, hunting license or arrest history; and had no connection to the military. Police found him in the parking lot with what was described as an AK-47-style assault weapon, a shotgun and two handguns, as well as a bulletproof vest and gas mask.
Share your condolences for the families of the victims in the “Dark Knight Rises” shooting and express your thoughts on our Facebook page. Stay tuned to MTV News for the latest information on the tragedy.