2012 Aurora, Colorado Shootings

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Shane McCormick
4/21/2013
Principles of Investigation
Research Paper
2012 Aurora, Colorado Dark Knight Shooting
So picture this; imagine thinking that you are going to go see the much anticipated movie, The Dark Knight Rises. This might as well be a good night as any to ask the girl, who you have been eying for a couple of weeks, out on your first date. Nervously, you go up to her and ask her if she would like to go see the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and get some dinner before the show, and she happily says yes. So you get home and start preparing for your date. You decide that you’re going to go to TGI Friday’s and then to the movie after dinner. You pick her up around 8 and head to dinner. Dinner went off without a hitch and you guys head to the movie theatre around 11:30 pm. Upon getting to the movie theatre, you see several people excitedly dressed in costumes to celebrate the opening of this film. You think nothing of it, get some popcorn, and head into theatre 9 where the movie would be showing. You and your date are both very excited for the movie and cannot wait for it to begin. When it starts, everyone starts cheering for the movie. The opening scene is intense and you are enjoying the movie this far especially since you are with a current crush. About 30 minutes into the movie, you notice an individual dressed in all tactical gear and then you see him throw a couple smoke grenades into the crowd and start firing automatic weapons. Well this is exactly what happened on the night of July 20th, 2012. A gunman opened fire onto the crowd of people watching The Dark Knight Rises. While firing, the suspect killed 12 people, and injured 58 others. The main (and only) suspect in the case is James Holmes, a resident of Aurora, Colorado. Holmes was born on December 13th, 1987 in San Diego, California. He graduated from Westview High School in San Diego in 2006 and went on to attend the University of California, Riverside where he received an undergraduate degree in neuroscience in 2010. He was a very good student, earning the highest honors upon graduation and a GPA of 3.949. After leaving UCR, Holmes went on to University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora Colorado as a Ph.D. student in the field of neuroscience. He did not keep his grades up while in Aurora though; in 2012 he scored pretty badly on the comprehensive exam at the college and Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the college. So in June 2012, he dropped out of college with no explanation to anyone. So pretty much a month later, Holmes went to the opening of The Dark Knight Rises, and decided that he would essentially start shooting fish in a barrel since no one really had anywhere to go. It was said that he was dressed in a gas-mask, a load-bearing vest which had many pockets so Holmes could store extra ammunition in it, a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a throat and groin protector, and tactical gloves. He initially opened fire with a 12 gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun by shooting once into the ceiling and then proceeded to open fire onto the audience. He then switched to a Smith & Wesson M&P15 which is Smith & Wesson’s version of the AR-15. This machine gun had a 100-round drum magazine attached to it. But it was reported that the gun (thankfully) had malfunctioned, so after about 30 rounds, the gun was not firing anymore. Holmes then went to the Glock 22 40-caliber handgun and when the police entered the theatre, they found about 3 magazines for the handgun. So all-in-all he probably fired about 100 rounds into a crowded room of movie-goers. During his rampage, James Holmes took the lives of 12 innocent people, and injured another 58 others. These numbers would probably be higher if the automatic rifle that Holmes was wielding had not malfunctioned because if it didn’t then that would’ve been 70 more rounds that could’ve taken the lives of more innocent people. The 12...
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