aurora co theater shooting

reuters.com
Judge to hear insanity defense challenge in James Holmes, Colorado theater shooting case - @Reuters

DENVER (Reuters) - The judge who will hear the capital murder case against accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes has agreed to hear arguments on the constitutionality of Colorado’s insanity defense

tmz.com
Mustaine In the Membrane: Megadeth Lead Singer Thinks President Obama Staged The Aurora CO Theater Shooting

Dave Mustaine – the lead singer of Megadeth – believes Barack Obama “staged” the massacre in Aurora, CO in a sick, twisted plot to pass a gun ban.

Mustaine made the comments on stage at an August 7 performance in Singapore … when he told the crowd, “Back in my country, my president … he’s trying to pass a gun ban, so he’s staging all of these murders, like the ‘Fast And Furious’ thing down at the border … Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there … and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple.”

He continued, “I don’t know where I’m gonna live if America keeps going the way it’s going because it looks like it’s turning into Nazi America.”

Obviously, Mustaine is not an Obama fan … and recently bashed the President during an interview with Alex Jones … saying, “With all of the proof about his birth certificate being fake. And you see the signs in Kenya that say 'the birthplace of Barack Obama.’ Hello?! C'mon, guys. How stupid are we right now?”

Colorado Looks For Healing One Year After Aurora Theater Shooting

Some recited the names of the dead. Some did good deeds for their neighbors. And some practiced yoga, walked through nature, or simply talked.

Coloradans embraced ways to heal Saturday as they marked the anniversary of the Aurora movie theater massacre with a city-sponsored “Day of Remembrance.”

It was one year ago that a gunman opened fire into a packed midnight screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” The rampage lasted less than two minutes but left deep wounds that still ache in Aurora, Colorado’s third-largest city which spreads out across the rolling plains on Denver’s eastern side.

Twelve people died, including a 6-year-old girl. Seventy were hurt, some of them paralyzed. Countless others inside the theater and out bear the invisible wounds of emotional trauma.

Parents, siblings and survivors of those slain attended a morning ceremony of prayer, song and remembrance outside Aurora’s city hall. Several hundred people – including police, fire personnel and members of Colorado’s congressional delegation – bowed their heads as the names of dead were read. A small bell tolled after each. The Hinkley High School choir sang “Amazing Grace.”

“One year ago, the peace of our community was shattered,” Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said. “We are still seeking justice.”

“It is important for us to remember that one senseless act does not, cannot and will not define us as a community,” Hogan added. “This is a story of resilience, not just of Aurora but of humankind.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper told the crowd that many people still struggle with unanswered questions.

“I know I do,” Hickenlooper said.

Dr. Camilla Sasson, an emergency room physician at the University of Colorado, struggled through tears as she recounted the efforts of police and medical personnel to save lives.

“It is absolutely a miracle that 58 people survived that night,” she said.

Mourners clutched white roses and, as the ceremony ended, laid them beneath a large wreath bearing the inscription, “In memory of those lost and those whose lives were forever changed.”

After the ceremony, residents volunteered for projects – tending a community garden, sorting food bank donations, donating blood. Spiritual and mental health counselors were available, along with art therapy projects and poetry readings.

Several hundred yards from City Hall, people visited 12 crosses erected near the cinema where the attack took place. James Holmes, accused of the shooting, was arrested outside the theater in the aftermath of the rampage.

Holmes has been in custody since the shooting and has been charged with murder, attempted murder and a list other offenses. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields, whose district includes the theater, said she is still numb and in mourning.

“It hasn’t fully mended after a year,” she said.

Fields said she wasn’t surprised by that. Her son, Javad Marshall-Fields, and his fiancee were shot to death in 2005 to keep Marshall-Fields from testifying in a murder trial. “I’m all too familiar to losing someone to gun violence,” Fields said.

On Friday and Saturday, Fields and other volunteers read the names of more than 2,500 people killed in gun-related violence in the U.S. since the Newtown, Conn., massacre in December. The last volunteer to read names was Stephen Barton, who was wounded last year in the theater shooting.

Immediately after Barton was finished, about 40 volunteers held a moment of silence at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, the time the theater shooting began. The silence lasted 82 seconds to represent the 12 people killed and the 70 wounded.

The ceremony at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora was sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, not the city of Aurora. A gun rights group, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, contended the event wrongly politicized a tragedy to promote gun control, so it staged a counter-rally nearby.

Hoping to capitalize on the anniversary, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund began running a TV ad Saturday in eight cities featuring Barton. In it, Barton describes his confusion during the attack and says he wondered afterward, “Why it had to happen to us at all? And who’ll be next?” The spot is running in Denver, Washington, D.C., and six cities in states represented by U.S. senators who in April voted against a failed bill to expand background checks for gun purchases: Las Vegas; Manchester, N.H.; Phoenix; Missoula and Billings, Mont.; and Little Rock, Ark.

After Saturday’s Aurora ceremony, some residents had their photo taken with police Chief Dan Oates, whose department won praise for its response a year ago.

“It was a searing event for the police department as well as the whole community,” Oates said. But he insisted many officers have recovered from the trauma and want to move on.

“I think we’re at that point,” Oates said.

One of the victims in the Aurora theater shooting said Wednesday he’s already forgiven the suspect in the rampage and hopes to speak with him someday.

“Of course, I forgive him with all my heart. When I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him — he’s just a lost soul right now,” said Pierce O'Farrill. “I want to see him sometime. The first thing I want to say to him is ‘I forgive you,’ and the next is, 'Can I pray for you?’”

O'Farrill, 28, spoke shortly before being released from the University of Colorado Hospital on Wednesday. Shot three times — twice in the left foot and once in the left arm — the employee of the Denver Rescue Mission said his immediate mission was to breathe fresh air for the first time in nearly a week, and then settle in for a deep sleep.

On Sunday, the deeply religious man said he’ll tell his story during three services at the Edge Church, based in Liberty Middle School in Aurora.

By then, Bonnie Kate Pourciau should be back home in Baton Rouge, La., where she’ll continue with her recovery from a gunshot wound to her left leg.

Pourciau, 18, was scheduled to be released Thursday. The oldest of seven children, Pourciau was driving from Seattle back to Louisiana with a friend when they decided to spend last Thursday night in Aurora.

Pourciau decided to go see the early Friday morning premiere of the new Batman movie after talking to a hotel clerk who was going, said her mother, Kathleen, who was with her at University Hospital on Wednesday.

Bonnie Kate Pourciau asked the clerk if she and her friend could still get tickets and was told she could. “I said, 'O.K., that sounds like fun.’ So, we went to the movies.”

In the aftermath of the shooting in which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded, Pourciau and O'Farrill found themselves on adjoining stretchers waiting for treatment. Because their injuries were deemed non-life-threatening, the two spent much of the time in a corner speaking about what had transpired. At some point, O'Farrill asked for a Bible and started reading. Soon, Pourciau asked if he would read some scriptures aloud to her.

“I was so happy I found a believer,” she said.

Vowing to stay in touch, the pair found themselves on the same hospital floor following their surgeries.

“We definitely share a bond,” O'Farrill said. “I promised her I would walk to her room to see her. I made it over that evening.

"It was awesome; we had an hour of worship and sang Amazing Grace — it was very powerful and special.”

After he was shot, O'Farrill said he was lying face down on the theater floor, with the shooter standing over him.

“I remember everything, every little detail,” O'Farrill said. “There was no doubt that when he came in, what I saw wasn’t all the way human. There was a dark presence in that room when he came in.

"When he stood above me I felt that evil presence. He fired a couple more shots and the truth is, at that moment I thought I was going to die. But God came in, and all of a sudden the killer just decided to stop.”

Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them.
— 

Christian Bale, the lead actor in The Dark Knight Rises, expressing his condolences to the families and friends of the 12 killed in Friday’s Aurora theater shooting.

Bale’s remarks come one day after The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan’s statement.

huffingtonpost.com
Aurora Shooting Suspect's Psyciatrist Violated Federal and State Laws By Not Telling Police of Holmes' Intentions

In many districts, the Tarasoff exception in patient/psychiatrist confidentiality agreements is law. In Colorado, the Tarasoff exception is law. James Holmes’ psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Felton, had a legal and professional duty to warn others of Holmes’ intentions. Six weeks before the fateful tragic events of that early Friday morning this July in Aurora, Colorado, James Holmes sat down for a typical session with Dr. Lynne Felton who had been seeing him in relation to schizophrenia. During this particular session, Holmes admitted that he had a fantasy of killing lots of people. Dr. Felton had a duty to put James Holmes on a psychiatric hold for 72 hours at the local police department, but she refused to put the hold on him. Some would argue that Dr. Felton upheld her duty as a psychiatrist by not violating his privacy and because he didn’t give concrete statement about his intentions. Others would consider his statements concrete enough to suffice to turn him into authorities. I agree with the latter.

DENVER, Dec 5 (Reuters) - A psychiatrist who treated accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes rejected a law enforcement offer to involuntarily confine him for 72 hours after he told her six weeks before the shooting that he fantasized about killing “a lot of people,” the Denver Post reported on Wednesday.

Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper said that Holmes made the remark to his therapist, Lynne Fenton, on June 11. But when a University of Colorado police officer asked whether to detain Holmes on a psychiatric hold, Fenton said no.

A psychiatric hold is usually involuntary hospitalization for mental health evaluation.

Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire during a midnight screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in suburban Denver in July, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

The former neuroscience graduate student bought a ticket to the blockbuster movie, but left the theater minutes into the film to don a suit of tactical body armor, helmet and gas mask before returning and spraying the unsuspecting crowd with gunfire from multiple weapons, police have said.

An attorney for Fenton could not be reached by Reuters, but has previously said she would not be commenting on media reports about her client.

University police also declined to comment, citing a court-ordered gag order.

The report came on the same day that the University of Colorado released roughly 3,800 emails pertaining to Holmes that shed light on his student life and the reaction of faculty as it became clear one of their own was the suspected gunman.

“He was a grad student here and, it turns out, had a brief romantic relationship with one of the grad students in my program last fall,” Larry Hunter, a computational bioscience professor, wrote in a July 20 email. “She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now. She knows, and is pretty freaked out.”

Another faculty member, Angie Ribera, a professor in the neuroscience department, questioned in the hours after the shooting whether the gunman was linked to the university.

“There are several individuals with the name James Holmes. This one is 24 and lives in North Aurora which makes me wonder if this is the one whom we know.”

Her e-mail also suggested that Holmes had not been close with the other graduate students in his neuroscience program.


A MAN UNRAVELING

Prosecutors have depicted Holmes as a young man whose once promising academic career was crumbling at the time of the shooting - one of the bloodiest acts of gun violence in the United States in recent years.

He failed oral graduate school board exams in June, and a professor suggested he may not have been a good fit for his competitive program. Holmes then began a voluntary school withdrawal and amassed a weapons arsenal as part of “a detailed and complex” plan to commit mass murder, prosecutors charge.

One email sent by the manager of environmental compliance at the Environmental Health and Safety Department shortly after Holmes was identified as the suspected shooter, confirmed he had access to various chemicals.

Holmes had booby-trapped his apartment, across the street from the Anschutz Medical Campus where he had been a student. It took officials days to disarm the set-up, which they said could have leveled the apartment complex.

“We did see him in the archived files as a lab worker,” manager Christina Aguilera wrote on July 20. “If they have an inventory in our file, we can tell what that should have looked like and then we can compare that with what is in the lab now.”

University faculty also offered support to students after the shooting, while also repeatedly imploring those who knew Holmes not to divulge information to the press or on social media.

“It appears that the shooter at the Batman premier was one of our students,” Cammie Kennedy, the program administrator for the neuroscience program, wrote in an email to students hours after the shooting.

“Students, I am here in my office if you need me,” she added. She also asked students to “please NOT post anything on Facebook, Twitter, etc.”

Holmes has yet to enter a plea in the case, and prosecutors have not indicated whether they will seek the death penalty. Holmes’ lawyers, who analysts have suggested may be laying the groundwork for an insanity defense, have said he suffers from mental illness and sought to get help before the shooting.

President Barack Obama’s Proclamation That Flags at Government Buildings Be At Half-Mast

As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

NOTE: Not even this noble act of respect and support by President Obama silences the GOP chatterboxes. Some of them view the move as a political ploy and only an attempt to garner up voter support.

Updates on James Holmes Arraignment and Trial
  • Judge William Sylvester will allow Holmes to enter not guilty by insanity plea at another time if he chooses

  • Judge enters standard not-guilty plea on behalf of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes - @9NEWS

  • Holmes’ lawyers said they weren’t prepared to enter a plea because they had more work and mental evaluations to do - @john_ingold

  • Judge sets trial for Aurora movie theater shooting suspect for Aug. 5 - @NBCNews

youtube

Well, if any of you had a countdown on who would start making uncalled-for jokes about the Aurora CO theater shooting, you only had to wait a week.

Dane Cook (imagine that) is the first person to make a poorly-timed joke that’s not even funny about the shooting, that just occurred last Friday.

BuzzFeed has more:

Hear the clip from his performance above last night at the Laugh Factory. Always keepin’ it classy, Dane.

He starts at 00:15.

“So I heard that the guy came into the theater about 25 minutes into the movie. And I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie. The movie’s pretty much a piece of crap … And I know that if, you know, none of that had happened, I’m pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, probably was like, ‘Uh, f*ckin’ shoot me.’”

Some people in the audience groan, but most laugh. And clap.

The shootings occurred one week ago today. Twelve people died and 58 were injured.

Dane, families of the 12 deceased victims of the Aurora CO theater shooting are still in the process of grieving and burying their dead, and you have the audacity to make jokes about their suffering.

You and Daniel Tosh are a bunch of pricks, self-serving pricks who don’t give a flying flip about anyone’s feelings or grief.

Dane, your joke was uncalled-for, at any time, let alone just 7 days after the tragedy occurred.

Next time, keep your idiot remarks to yourself.

latimes.com
BREAKING NEWS: Aurora theater shooting suspect is in court again, and his judge will decide whether documents relevant to the case will be unsealed for the news media's perusal. 24 news organizations wanted them unsealed. Decision should be within a couple of hours.

The man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20, is expected to be in court Thursday in a hearing to unseal more details about the case.

Twenty news media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, have joined in a motion to ease a strict gag order imposed on the case by District Court Judge William Sylvestor. That order bans anyone connected with the case from discussing it, including those at the University of Colorado. Sylvestor has said pre-trial publicity could jeopardize a fair trial.

The theater shooting suspect, 24, now faces 142 criminal charges in the case, including 24 counts of first-degree murder – two for each of the people killed in a shooting rampage during a crowded midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.” 

PHOTOS: Colorado movie theater shooting

He had been a neuroscience doctoral student at the university before withdrawing about six weeks before the massacre, and his connection with the school could prove significant in the case.

Early court papers revealed that the suspect had been treated by Dr. Lynn Fenton, director of student mental health services at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Some media outlets have reported that Fenton became alarmed enough by his behavior that she notified both the campus’ Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment Team and the campus police. Those concerns reportedly were not forwarded to Aurora police.

It is not publicly known whether there was any follow-up after the alleged shooter withdrew from school, or what sparked the doctor’s alarm. The university has hired legal counsel for both an unnamed campus police officer and Fenton.

Should the gag order stand, information about the man who once reportedly described himself as “an aspiring scientist” may not come to light until a mid-November preliminary hearing. 

Prosecutors have not yet announced whether they will seek the death penalty. That decision may well fall to someone not yet in office. The current district attorney, Carol Chambers, will leave office in January.  Her successor will be decided in the November election.

huffingtonpost.com
Rash of Arrests At Dark Knight Rises Showings Across the Country

At least 3 men accused of making threats during or after watching the new Batman movie have been arrested in separate incidents, underscoring moviegoers’ anxieties and heightened security in the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Colorado theater showing the film.

A Maine man was arrested when he told authorities that he was on his way to shoot a former employer a day after watching “The Dark Knight Rises,” Maine state police said Monday.

Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, Maine, had been stopped for speeding, and a police search of his car found an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition and news clippings about the mass shooting that left 12 people dead early Friday, authorities said.

The former graduate student and Aurora shooting suspect, 24, is accused of opening fire in a theater in a Denver suburb. The shooting also injured 58 people.

Courtois said he had attended the Batman movie on Saturday, although police have not confirmed whether he actually saw the film.

“I guess we’re taking everything at face value,” State Police Lt. Kevin Donovan said. “It’s very scary.”

Police searched Courtois’ home later Sunday and found a machine gun, several other guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

“We don’t know what his true intentions were,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. “Based on the arsenal that was confiscated, we brought in our counterparts from the FBI and ATF to assist with the investigation.”

Courtois was charged with speeding and possession of a concealed weapon.

In Southern California, a man at a Sunday afternoon showing of the film was arrested after witnesses said he made threats and alluded to the Aurora shooting when the movie didn’t start.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were called to a cinema complex in Norwalk after moviegoers said 52-year-old Clark Tabor shouted: “I should go off like in Colorado.” They said he then asked: “Does anybody have a gun?”

A security guard saw Tabor with a backpack on his knees in the second row, but deputies who searched the bag, the theater and its surrounding area did not find any weapon.

Separately, moviegoers in Sierra Visa, Ariz., panicked when a man who appeared intoxicated was confronted during a showing of the movie. The Cochise County Sheriff’s office said it caused “mass hysteria” and about 50 people fled the theater.

Off-duty Border Patrol agents tackled Michael William Borboa, 27, who had a backpack with him, according to The Arizona Daily Star. Authorities said it contained an empty alcohol container and a half-empty moonshine bottle.

Borboa was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating.

Despite some jitters over the horrific shooting, moviegoers around the country still flocked to theaters to see the film, which was the final installment of the phenomenally successful Batman trilogy. Warner Bros. reported that it brought in $160.9 million over the weekend, making it the third highest opening weekend ever, after “The Avengers” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.”

youtube

In his weekly address this morning, the President again mourned the victims in Aurora and offered federal resources to bring the shooter to justice. “Even as we come to learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings. Such evil is senseless — beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes that life worth living.”

“If there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives. It’s how we choose to treat one another, and love one another. It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. That’s why we’re here.”

buzzfeed.com
The Aurora Theater Shooting Tragedy, As Told By 50 Newspaper Front Pages Across the Country

The nation mourned the loss of 12 people killed in the shooting in Colorado that also injured 58. Here’s how the story played out in 50 newspapers from around the country.

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