Aurora Shooting Suspect Looked Like A Fellow Officer, Police Say | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Aurora Shooting Suspect Looked Like A Fellow Officer, Police Say

Moments after a deadly attack that turned an Aurora, Colo., movie theater into a scene of panic and tragedy, the police officer who found suspect James Holmes at first took him for a fellow police officer, due to the body armor Holmes was wearing.

But he noticed that Holmes was "just standing there" and had no sense of urgency — despite the pandemonium at the theater, as people continued to stream out.

Holmes, who faces 12 charges of first-degree murder, was reportedly quiet and relaxed, "like there weren't normal emotional responses to anything," Oviatt said. "He seemed very detached from it all."

Holmes, 25, was in court Monday for the first of what is likely to be a week of hearings to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to try Holmes on 164 counts, with charges that range from murder and attempted murder to possessing explosives illegally.

The hearings are expected to give a sense both of the evidence against Holmes and of the strategies the defense and prosecution attorneys will employ. Oviatt and another officer who responded to the scene of the July 20 killings, Aaron Blue, testified Monday morning about what they found after responding to a call about a shooting during the just-released Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.

Here's a brief rundown of other details that emerged today:

  • Officer Aaron Blue "recalled arriving on the scene to find 'a lot of people coming out of the theater screaming,'" Reuters reports.
  • Oviatt testified that he found Holmes at his car after tracing a trail of blood that led out of the movie theater, as The Denver Post reports.
  • Holmes "was wearing a helmet and gas mask and 'immediately put his hands up' when ordered to freeze and surrender," — Reuters, quoting Oviatt.
  • Holmes "was dripping with sweat and his pupils were very big," Oviatt said (via the Denver blog Westword).
  • "Blue testified that Holmes volunteered that he had four guns and that there were 'improvised explosive devices'" in his apartment, ABC reports. Oviatt testified that when Blue asked if the explosives would detonate, Holmes answered, "If you trip them."
  • In his testimony, Officer Justin Grizzle described how he drove six victims to the hospital, as he tried to keep them alive.
  • "After what I saw in that theater, I didn't want anyone else to die," said Grizzle, according to The Denver Post.
  • The paper adds that Grizzle "said that one man who was injured tried to jump out of the patrol car because he was so anxious to find his 7-year-old girl."

Last week, the Century Aurora 16 theater announced its plan to reopen, bringing calls of insensitivity from some of the family members of the victims. The theater had invited the families to attend the reopening.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding

The eight-part drama that begins Thursday stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a British baroness with an Israeli passport. She's a fearless actor in a show full of kidnappings, seductions and betrayals.
NPR

When China Spurns GMO Corn Imports, American Farmers Lose Billions

China has been a big and growing market for U.S. corn. But then farmers started planting a kind of genetically engineered corn that's not yet approved in China, and the Chinese government struck back.
WAMU 88.5

On Cantor's Last Day As House Majority Leader, Debate Surrounds His Legacy

In his last address to colleagues as Majority Leader, Cantor told his colleagues to remember the House's bipartisan accomplishments.
NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.