Police: Shooting Suspect Told Officers He Was ‘The Joker’
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The suspect in the Aurora movie shooting is not cooperating with police and has asked for a lawyer after investigators tried to question him about the attack, CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass reports.
Police said a gunman with a gas mask on and dressed in black shot and killed dozens of people and injured more than 50 more. Authorities say the suspect, James Holmes, 24, killed 10 people inside the theater complex and that two others died after they were taken from the scene.
Holmes was booked into the Arapahoe County Jail Friday afternoon and declined an interview request from CBS4. He will appear in Arapahoe County District Court on Monday.
After apparently speaking with law enforcement in Colorado, New York’s Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said when police apprehended Holmes, “He clearly looked like a deranged individual. He had his hair painted red. He said he was “The Joker,” obviously quote “the enemy” of Batman.”
When asked during Friday morning’s news conference if Holmes was dressed as the Joker, Oates replied, “That’s not something we would discuss in this setting.”
A judge has sealed everything in the case, not allowing affidavits, court documents or photographs of the suspect. The official booking photo of Holmes will not be released for the time being.
A judge agreed with prosecutors request that the case be sealed, saying it would be contrary to the public interest to release any information at this point.
Holmes took up residence in May 2011 at an apartment at 1690 Paris Street in Aurora, located just a few blocks from the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus. He was enrolled in a graduate program of neurosciences in 2011 but withdrew from the program in June.
On Friday two research buildings on the campus were evacuated while investigators conducted a sweep of the property. University of Colorado spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said every building where Holmes had conducted research would be swept as a precaution.
Until Friday, Holmes kept a low profile while living in Aurora.
“His history with the Aurora Police Department is one traffic summons for speeding in October 2011,” said Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates. “We have no other criminal history.”
Neighbors describe him as low key and keeping to himself.
One high school friend said Holmes always rooted for the “bad guys” in superhero movies, which he found odd.
Holmes’ parents live in San Diego. They were not aware of the shooting until news media contacted them on Friday.
Holmes’ mother did not appear to be surprised that her son was suspected in the attack. She apparently said, “You’ve got the right people” when media outlets contacted her on the phone.
Holmes’ father, Robert Holmes, left his home in San Diego Friday morning to catch a flight to Denver. He arrived at Denver International Airport Friday afternoon. He met with Denver police officers and was escorted off the Southwest Flight after it landed at DIA.
As a steady stream of passengers came off that flight from the jet way onto Concourse C, Robert Holmes was escorted down a staircase onto the tarmac and left with Denver police out of public view. It is unclear where he went with police after he disembarked from the plane.
It did not appear that Robert Holmes collected bags from the baggage claim area, it appeared he had only a carry-on briefcase with him. It is possible that police helped collect his bags from the baggage claim area.