When it rains, it pours.
Just three days after 17 people were injured in the mass shooting at Copper Top Bar in Tuscaloosa, Ala., 12 moviegoers were killed and another 59 were injured early this morning at an Aurora, Co. theatre during a late night showing of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises”.
The 71 victims makes the tragedy the largest mass shooting in the history of the U.S..
The suspected shooter has been identified as 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes, a University of Colorado Denver medical school dropout. Holmes moved from San Diego, Calif. to pursue his PhD, but withdrew in June from his neuroscience studies. In an earlier report, ABC’s Brian Ross incorrectly linked Holmes to a Colorado Tea Party.
According to reports, Holmes purchased a ticket to the movie but left quickly after it started, propping an exit door open to allow himself to reenter the theatre unnoticed after gathering his weapons. His hatched plan went off without a hitch.
Holmes resurfaced in the theatre wearing a gas mask, riot helmet, military-style clothing and a bullet proof vest and armed with a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, smoke bomb and two handguns. He proceeded to set off the smoke bomb, prompting people to begin a mass exit and began picking off people one by one as they tried to exit the theatre.
Police apprehended Holmes outside the theatre and quickly began an investigation into his apartment located near the medical campus. Haz-Mat teams were called in as his place was apparently strapped with booby traps.
Holmes is tentatively scheduled to appear in a Colorado courtroom on Monday, although no formal charges have been filed yet.
Below is raw video posted to YouTube by a witness to the shootings, showing the chaos moments after the shootings.