The Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office released today hundreds of photographs taken inside the Colorado cinema where shooter James Holmes (27) shot to death 12 people in a rampage that also injured 70 others. It was on July 20, 2012, Holmes opened fire during a midnight showing of the latest Batman flick, The Dark Night Rises, at a Century 16 multiplex theatre in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colorado. He was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, and a Glock pistol.
Never seen before by the public, the graphic photos provide chilling evidence of the murderous shooting for which Holmes has been given 12 separate life sentences. Photographs of Holmes apartment were also released, which showed that he had rigged his residence with improvised explosive booby traps.
Holmes, as did others who had come to see the film, dressed in costume. In case, his get-up appeared to evoke the ‘Joker’: who was played by Australian actor Heath Ledger. He had bought a ticket for the front row of the theatre. After watching approximately 20 minutes of the film, Holmes slipped out the front exit, where he propped open the exit door. Leaving for his car, Holmes then dressed in black tactical gear and loaded his three weapons to prepare for the assault. Just before shooting, Holmes set off smoke grenades that disoriented his eventual victims.
Holmes resorted to firing with his shotgun first, and then opened up with his semi-automatic rifle and then his pistol. He fired 76 rounds inside the theater: six from his shotgun, 65 from his semi-automatic rifle and five from his pistol. Some of the rounds pierced the wall of the theatre and entered the adjacent theatre where three other persons were wounded.

Photographs released by the Arapahoe County District Attorney showed the seats where victims of Holmes' rampage were when he opened fire.

Using three different weaopns, Holmes fired on the 400 theatre-goers after disorienting them with smoke grenades when he stood up at the front row.


Drink cups and bags of popcorn were struck by the gunfire, which riddled the theatre with bullets and fragments.

Holmes fired 76 rounds from a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, and a pistol in a blaze of fire that killed 12.

The floor of the theatre and the pavement outside were smeared with the blood of the victims as survivors fled and tracked the blood with their shoes.


In the photograph, a spent shotgun wadding lies next to popcorn and a napkin on which blood has been spilled.

Fans were at the Aurora cinema to watch the latest Batman flick "The Dark Knight Rises," where shooter Holmes dressed in character as a psychotic killer.

Police flagged the trajectory of the bullets that flew into the crowd, killing 12 and wounding dozens. Three persons in an adjacent cinema were also wounded when bullets pierced the wall separating it from the scene of the shooting.

Blood pooled on the floor of the theatre, where bullets pierced the seats where hapless fans fell.

At the entrance of the theatre, survivors fled through the lobby and streamed into the parking lot. They tipped over a wastebasket and left a trail of blood.

The semi-automatic rifle used by Holmes lies next to a pink flip-flop and a spoor of blood left behind by one of the victims.

The blood of Holmes' victims extended into the street. When police arrived, within 90 seconds of receiving a distress 911 call, they found screaming people fleeing the gunfire. Some of the wounded were drenched in their own blood, and the blood of others.

A pile of black clothing lies next to another pool of blood on the sidewalk surrounding the cinema. 

Police found Holmes car parked outside of the theatre. In it, they found a concealed handgun as well as ammunition.

Holmes carried several magazines for his semi-automatic rifle, as well as shells for his pump-action shotgun. He was wearing tactical-type clothing during the rampage. When police first observed him, they thought that he was just another police officer. He also wore a gas mask, having first detonated smoke grenades to disorient the viewers of the movie who may have thought he was pulling a movie-related stunt.

Holmes' semi-automatic rifle is seen near an exit door along with blood splashed by his victims. 

Holmes used a military-grade gas mask, as well as grenades intended for use by law enforcement. He had planned the attack for months, having cease to attend classes for his graduate degree in neuroscience.

Some of the rounds Holmes fired pierced a side wall of the cinema, striking and wounding three persons watching a film in an adjacent cinema.

The glass from the shattered passenger side window of Holmes' vehicle lies next to a shotgun round he left behind.

Holmes concealed an additional firearm in a compartment in the passenger-side door.

A cellphone left behind by one of the victims lies on the sidewalk covered with blood.

The people watching the film had no time to defend themselves. No one in the audience is known to have been armed and able to respond to Holmes' violence.

Once he was in police custody, Holmes admitted that he had rigged his apartment with volatile explosives, including gunpowder and gasoline. On the floor of the apartment, he had strewn gunpowder in an attempt to accelerate an explosion. He used two different methods in an attempt to actuate an explosion. Before leaving, he made a recording of 40 minutes of silence followed by cacophonous music. Holmes expected that the racket would cause a neighbor to call the police with a complaint. Holmes hoped that police would enter the apartment and detonate the deadly improvised explosives. A neighbor did knock on the door that night to complain about the noise. However, when she received no response she left the apartment behind but did not call the police.

Holmes filled black plastic spheres with explosives, and also stored gasoline in plastic bottles. Outside his apartment, he left behind a remote-control toy and a remote that he had rigged to detonate the explosives.

On top of his television, he left a creepy testimony of one of his obsessions: Batman.

On the walls of his apartment, Holmes displayed movie posters, including one depicting Samuel Jackson and John Travolta in 'Pulp Fiction' wielding guns.



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