by Isi Esene
US federal law enforcement say the man, identified as James E. Holmes, the perpetrator of yesterday’s horrific movie theater shooting, described himself as ‘the Joker’.
Holmes was said to have been heavily armed, wearing a gas-mask, and a bulletproof vest as he shot indiscriminately at people who have come to the watch the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, at the Century 16 theatre in Aurora, Colorado.
Police investigators say he was armed with an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-calibre handguns.
According to CNN, at least 12 people were killed in the rampage and 59 were wounded.
Aurora Police Chief, Dan Oates revealed that the shooter’s apartment is “booby-trapped with various incendiary and chemical devices and trip wires” and this makes it difficult for the authorities to safely comb through his apartment.
Oates, who said investigators are confident that Holmes acted alone, revealed he has never seen anything like this [shooting] before.
While narrating his experience, Chris Ramos who was in the theatre, described it as a scene “straight out of a horror film”.
“He was just literally shooting everyone, like hunting season,” Ramos said.
Many of the victims were rushed to the hospital for medical attention. One of the injured is a 4 months old baby, the child’s mother confirmed. The infant was treated and released from the hospital.
“I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s horrific,” said Tracy Lauzon, director of EMS and trauma services at Aurora Medical Center.
According to Rob McCallum, spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Department, Holmes is scheduled to appear in an Arapahoe County, Colorado, courtroom on Monday morning, .
President Barack Obama, who was scheduled to campaign in Fort Myers on Friday told his supporters that “there will be other days for politics”.
“This will be a day for prayer and reflection.
“Such violence, such evil is senseless. It is beyond reason,” Obama concluded before cancelling the engagement and heading back to Washington.
Initially, police put the number of dead at 14, ten in the theater and four at area hospitals — but later revised it to 12, according to Aurora Police Lt. Jad Lanigan. The initial injury count of 38 was however revised upward to 59.
Flags at the White House were lowered to half-mast, yesterday afternoon, in honour of the victims.
Aurora, a Denver suburb, is about 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado — site of the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
In that incident, two teenage students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, killed 13 people and wounded 23 before killing themselves.