Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shootings.
It’s been one year since alleged mass shooter James Holmes walked into a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, dressed all in black with his face hidden behind a gas mask. At the time, many in the theater thought him to be a part of the show, which was the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Their thoughts quickly turned to panic, however, when the masked man began shooting.
Now, a year later, families and friends of those affected still seek answers as to why someone would commit such a heinous act. And while commemorative services have been taking place over the past several days, Holmes faces 24 counts of first-degree murder and 140 counts of attempted murder, two counts for each of the victims.
Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others, some permanently, like Stephon Moton, 19, who is paralyzed from the neck down and Ashley Moser, who is also paralyzed. Moser is doubly affected, as she was the mother of the youngest shooting victim, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, who was only six years old at the time. Holmes’ lawyers contend that he was “in the throes of a psychotic episode,” but have provided few details about his mental state thus far. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
What has come out in court, however, points to a deeply disturbing story. Those who knew Holmes when he was younger referred to him as “withdrawn” and quiet. Oddly, when Holmes was arrested by police behind the Aurora theater just minutes after the massacre, he was found standing quietly by his car.
Those images are in stark contrast to the shooter in Theater Number 9 who, according to witness Stephanie Davies, supposedly targeted individuals, shouting “What are you doing? I said stand up!” According to Davis, the shooter would pick people up or stand over them and then “boom!”
Photographic evidence presented in court, obtained from Holmes’ smartphone, also shows a different side of Holmes. Those photos show Holmes on the evening prior to the shootings at the Aurora theater. In one photo, Holmes is seen wearing a black stocking cap with two twists of his dyed red-orange hair sticking out like horns on either side of his head. Another photo shows him grinning, with a gun below his face, and yet another shows some of his gear and guns spread out on his bed.
So who is the real James Holmes? Perhaps it’s both…the quiet, intelligent student with dreams of becoming a neuroscientist and helping people as well as the loud, cold, calculating person who, at age 24, went on a weapons-buying spree, purchasing more than 6,000 rounds of ammo and enough chemicals to turn his apartment into a potentially lethal bomb.
As survivors search for meaning, one thing remains certain. It’s James Holmes’ turn to face his own “dark night of the soul.”
Link to Article on Network’s Site: http://www.gcnlive.com/wp/2013/07/19/aurora-colorado-theater-shootings-one-year-later/
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