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Twenty-four-year old James Holmes, the suspect behind the Colorado theatre massacre, made an appearance before a Colorado court Monday. Holmes looked lost and disoriented during the brief hearing and his hair was notably dyed red, possibly to resemble the character “the Joker” from the batman comic book universe.
The gunman is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58, including a six year old girl, during the premiere of the Dark knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.
According to police reports, Holmes views himself as an arch-villain from the Batman mythology and told police upon his arrest that he was the joker. During the attack he was dressed all in black, wearing body armor and a gas mask, as well as additional body protection.
Police did also find Batman merchandize such as a batman poster and a batman mask in the Gunman’s home. The police also came across intricate booby traps in the third floor apartment, with a number of trip wires connected to 30 homemade grenades in addition to containers of acid and gasoline.
In the months prior to the attack, Holmes purchased a shotgun, two handguns and a semi automatic assault rifle with customized magazines such as a 100-round drum clip, body armor, a gas mask, as well as 6,000 rounds of ammunition. These facts have once again raised the highly sensitive question of gun laws in the US, especially regarding military weapons such as assault rifles.
A California Senator said in a Fox news interview Sunday that “Weapons of war don’t belong on the streets.” According to police, the massacre could have turned out even worse if it weren’t for the fact that the killer’s assault rifle jammed, forcing him to resort to his backup weapons. In the wake of the shooting, police found a 100 round drum clip on the floor which apparently caused the jam.
In a brief interview, the the 18th Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said that “The death penalty certainly will be considered in this case.” However, the big upcoming legal issue will be to resolve whether or not Holmes can be considered insane.