Aurora Shooting

Topics: Murder, Insanity defense, Movie theater Pages: 6 (2481 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Inside the Aurora Colorado Shooting
On the night of July 20th, 2012 the term tragedy was rewritten as the largest mass shooting in United States history took place in a movie theater located in Aurora, Colorado. What is now known as “The Batman Massacre” resulted in twelve casualties, fifty eight injuries, grief ridden family members, and left the rest of the United States searching for answers. This horrific scene will be replayed in the minds of the survivors for life and will be one of grave devastation to the family members directly involved. The shooting has many dynamic angles to consider, especially the ones that involve the shooter. Included here is his background, the legal issues inflicted, and his motive to carry out such a daunting process. Such a catastrophe surfaces a question wondered by all. What happened the night of July 20th, and what motives can lead an individual to carry out such horrific acts?

When James Holmes walked into the Aurora Century 16 multiplex theatre, he had different plans than the hundreds of people filing in to the sold out premier of Batman: The Dark Night Rises. The evening was filled with excitement for the final part of the Batman movie sequel, and anticipation for its long awaited arrival created a buzz in theatre. People of all ages we dressed up as various characters in the film, creating a memorable and unique scene. This was only to be experienced by the select few that got the privilege to see the film before the rest of the world. Included in this was Holmes, who bought a movie ticket dressed as the character Bane, wearing a gas mask and all black attire (including a bullet proof vest and bullet proof leggings). He then slipped out of the theatre to prop open the front right emergency exit door and gather up his weapons. When the allotted time was right, Holmes entered back through the side door, tossed tear gas into the crowd, and unloaded fire amongst the sold out crowd. He continued firing for a few minutes continuously, totaling over a hundred rounds fired. Bullets tore into the floor, seats, and walls- some of which entered into nearby theatres. Spectators ran for exits, took cover, and crawled to avoid being hit by the rapid gunfire. Holmes methodically walked up the aisle firing in all directions, where he eventually went out the back exit and continued shooting on people trying to exit. The scene was described as terrifying, with one survivor saying, “People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me. I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die.” When the shooting finally ceased, the theatre was torn apart leaving spectators dead, injured, and frantic. Holmes exited the theatre where he was immediately apprehended outside of his vehicle in the parking lot. The scene immediately drew hundreds of police, FBI agents, and paramedics who attempted to provide assistance to lessen some of the pandemonium that had just occurred.

When the total casualties and injuries were accounted for the chief of police released the public. James Holmes was charged with twenty four counts of first degree murder, including twelve counts of murder with deliberation and twelve counts of murder with malice aforethought. In Colorado, it is a common practice to file two charges for one victim. If they believe they can prove a case, persecutors will charge them in all of the ways appropriate. In addition, he was also charged with one-hundred and sixteen counts of attempted murder, one count of illegal possession of explosives, and one count of crime with violence (gun charge). Murder with deliberation is when the killer has formed a plan to perform the murder before the act has actually taken place. The time frame for this varies, but this is usually described as enough time for a typical person to second guess the decision being made. These charges can be confirmed through a couple of actions Holmes took. One is his knowledge of the parameters of the...
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