James Holmes biography
Born in California in 1987, James Holmes was charged for murdering 12 and wounding 58 in a Colorado shooting that took place on July 20, 2012. The incident took place at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where a screening of the 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises was playing. Shortly after the incident, police arrested 24-year-old James Holmes, who was wearing gas mask and body armor at the time. He had also dyed his hair red to resemble "the Joker," a well-known Batman villain. On July 30, 2012, Holmes was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder, as well as two charges related to the possession of serious weapons.
Born on December 13, 1987, in San Diego, California, James Eagan Holmes became known throughout the United States on July 20, 2012, when he was identified by police as a suspect in a Colorado shooting that killed 12 individuals and wounded 58. The incident took place at a movie theater in an Aurora, Colorado, a suburb not far from Denver, where theater patrons were watching the newly released Batman series film The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Police identified 24-year-old James Holmes as the suspect and arrested him shortly after the incident.
According to media reports, police officers who responded to the scene found Holmes near the theater, wearing gas mask and body armor. Holmes's hair had been dyed red, resembling that of "the Joker," a well-known Batman villain. According to a report by CBS News, a federal official stated that Holmes appeared to have been "under the radar" when the shooting took place.
Holmes graduated from Westview High School in Rancho Penasquitos, California, in 2006. That summer, he interned at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. Holmes went on to the University of California, Riverside, where he earned a bachelor's degree in neuroscience in 2010. During one of his college summers, he worked as a camp counselor for underprivileged kids in Los Angeles in 2008. Holmes enrolled at the University of Colorado in June 2011, taking graduate courses in neuroscience at the university's Denver campus. He withdrew from the program in June 2012.
Holmes had allegedly begun planning the movie theater shooting up to four months before the incident. He reportedly received numerous packages at his apartment and at the university during this time. Holmes "had a high volume of deliveries," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told the Associated Press. "We think this explains how he got his hands on the magazine, ammunition." He also purchased various weapons, including a military-style AR-15 assault rifle that police believe was used during the attack. Police believe that Holmes acted alone during the shooting.
After his arrest, Holmes reportedly told authorities that he had rigged his apartment with the explosive devices. He had booby-trapped his home so that anyone who entered would hurt or killed by these devices. The police were able to eliminate and remove the dangerous materials.
Investigators are exploring whether Holmes obtained any of the chemicals used in these devices from the university.
Prior to this incident, Holmes did not have a criminal record in the United States. He is being held in solitary confinement at the Arapahoe Detention Center. According to the New York Daily News, Holmes has been acting "crazy" and "spitting at everything."
Criminal Charges and Trial
Holmes made his first court appearance on July 23, 2012. Seven days later, he was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder, as well as two charges related to the possession of serious weapons.
In March 2013, Holmes made an offer to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole. This move would have allowed Holmes to avoid the death penalty. But the prosecutors rejected his offer, choosing instead to move forward with the case against Holmes.
The Arapahoe Country District Attorney George Brauchler was unwilling to accept a life sentence for Holmes, believing that the accused deserved a more severe punishment for his alleged crimes. "It’s my determination and my intention that in this case, for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death," Brauchler said, according to NBC News. Holmes is expected to go on trial in August.