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The Aurora Theatre Shooting

The events of the horrific Aurora Theatre Shooting unfolded on July 20, 2012. The shooting transpired during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and ended with unthinkable losses. 


James Holmes, the sole perpetrator, initially entered the theatre and bought a ticket to the film, sitting in the front row. Approximately twenty minutes into the movie, Holmes exited the theatre through an emergency exit door. He propped this door open with a plastic tablecloth holder and proceeded to go outside to his car. Inside of his vehicle were protective tactical clothing items and multiple firearms. Holmes changed into the protective clothing, which included a gas mask, a ballistic helmet, a bullet-resistant throat protector, a load-bearing vest (which was not additionally bulletproof), bullet-risistant leggings, a groin protector, and finally a pair of tactical gloves. While at his car Holmes also retrieved the guns that he would use in the attack; a 12-gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun, a Smith and Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, and a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun. 


Holmes then reentered the theatre through the same door he had propped open and entered the auditorium, wearing headphones and playing “techno music” as to not hear the audience’s reactions. He first threw two canisters that discharged a gas or smoke. This smoke caused eye irritation and obscured vision, as well as itchiness to the skin and throat. After this Holmes fired his 12-gauge Remington shotgun at the ceiling, then at the audience. He additionally fired his semi-automatic rifle, but it soon malfunctioned. Holmes lastly fired using his Glock 22 handgun. 


Holmes began shooting at the back of the auditorium, then towards people in the aisles. Three people in a neighboring room were hit by a bullet when it passed through the wall, and that area was subsequently evacuated. This room was also screening The Dark Knight Rises. Meanwhile, back in the auditorium where the shooting was taking place, the fire alarm began to sound. The scene was in complete chaos, and some were hesitant to flee due to shouts of an additional shooter in the theatre’s lobby. The first calls to 911 were made at 12:39am, with police arriving in 90 seconds. Some individuals reported the shooting on Twitter rather than calling the police, but officers were already present at the theatre when these tweets were sent. 


A total of 76 shots were fired by Holmes in the theatre; six of these were from the shotgun, 65 from the semi-automatic rifle, and five from the Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun. When Sergeant Stephen Redfearn, one of the first police officers on the scene, arrived, he decided not to wait for ambulances. Sergeant Redfearn instead sent a number of the victims to the hospital in squad cars. At approximately 12:45am, Holmes was apprehended behind the theatre by Officer Jason Oviatt. He stated that Holmes was calm and “disconnected” during his arrest. 


12 people were killed in the Aurora shooting and 70 non-fatal injuries were reported. 10 victims died at the scene and two more died at local hospitals. Four of the victims, Jonathan Blunk, Matt MqQuinn, Alexander Teeves, and John Larimer, were killed while protecting their girlfriends. Two of the victims were active-duty service members. For a full list of the fallen victims, click here


Two federal officials had stated that Holmes had dyed his hair red and called himself “The Joker”, but authorities later declined to confirm that statement. However, three days later at his first court appearance, Holmes had reddish-orange hair. Authorities found a first aid kit, as well as spike strips, in his car. Holmes later claimed that he planned to use the spike strips if police chased him or shot at him. Police interviewed a grand total of 200 witnesses during the investigation. Holmes was first incarcerated at the Arapahoe County Detention Center under suicide watch. 


The Aurora Shooting had claimed the largest number of victims of any mass shooting in the history of the United States, but was later unfortunately surpassed by the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting in 2016, which had a combined total of 102 casualties. The Aurora Shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in the state of Colorado since the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, which claimed 13 victims, not including the two perpetrators who committed suicide after their attack. 

Nobody noticed the mental illness at this early age. Why? Because he was getting straight A’s. And he was causing no problems. And he was a good kid.
—  Dan King, public defender, about James Holmes

forsimplicityssake  asked:

Can I ask for further info on what's going on in the wolfdog community? Thanks!

I’m not sure exactly which part of the recent events you’re interested in / aware of, so I’ll do a quick recap. 

The private ownership wolfdog community is super full of group-think to the point of kind of being it’s own cult. Most really dedicated animal group are, from specific purebred dog breed clubs to reptile keepers, but they take it even farther than the extremes of most of those groups. They promote hands-on experience with wolfdogs as more important or relevant to successful animal management than professional or academic backgrounds in relevant topics. Their care is generally based on mythology and urban legends about canine behavior and is fairly lacking in awareness of any recent behavioral science for dogs or wolves, and they tend to think training either isn’t possible with wolf content animals or that it makes them less wild, somehow. They’re also nasty and tend to go on witch-hunts within their own community if someone does something they don’t like or gets on the wrong side of a respected old-timer.

I wrote an article on a northern breed mix named Loki, who is really famous for his owner’s tendency to claim he’s a wolfdog, and was lambasted for it. I was kicked out of the wolfdog communities, harassed, and vaguely threatened with legal action. I eventually took the article offline because the unending harassment it was destroying my ability to function as an educator. You can read more about that story here. I’ve gotten requests to put it back up from people  who think calling out this specific case of misrep is important, but are uninterested in backing the project openly due to the amount of backlash it generated when it was posted. The article will not be going back up. 

Shortly after the Loki article came down, a GSD mix named Capone was taken by animal officers in Aurora, Colorado, and claimed to be ‘part wolf’ because he was aggressive towards the officers. To make it worse, he wasn’t vaccinated for rabies or registered with the county. A tense week ensued, in which petitions were started to save Capone and he became a fairly visible media story in the US. Eventually, DNA results from UC Davis came back that Capone was entirely dog, and he got to go home. Unfortunately, a shitty breeder of northern breed mixes decided to go talk to the local media about “how they should come see what real wolfdogs look like” and managed to make the misrepresentation problems regarding wolfy-looking arctic breed dogs 1000% worse. The wolfdog community (the bits of it I’m still tangential too, anyway) spent a lot of that week bemoaning that man, why doesn’t anyone speak out against exactly this sort of misrepresentation?

In light of the drama. Why Animals Do The Thing has decided to no longer support with the private ownership wolfdog community. WADTT is also choosing to discontinue it’s partnership with a wolfdog rescue we have previously unequivocally supported - you can read more about why that choice was made here. WADTT will continue to do independent education regarding wolfdog media as is pertinent for the scope of this blog, however, because it’s pretty clearly a topic readers care about. 

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athenah2so4 submitted: 

  I know this is a wall o’ text, so I understand if you don’t want to post it for that reason. I can promise you it is completely true, though…it’s written as well as I can from when I posted it on SA a while back, so it reads rather story-like, but nothing in this is made-up, although some of it is speculation. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.

When I was 15, I lived in Aurora, Colorado, which is still kind of a bizarre amalgamation of wilderness corridors, standard suburbs of wildly varying income levels, and trailer parks. One night, my friend M. and I were trying to meet up with a couple of friends of ours. We were supposed to meet at a particular parking lot at a specific time, but when the appointed time came and went, our friends hadn’t shown up. This was long before cell phones were common outside of certain businesses and super-rich people, so we had the options of going home, waiting in the gathering dusk with nothing to do, or wandering around to various places we all frequented in hopes of finding our friends and bitching them out. Our home lives weren’t great, and the parking lot was dull, so we opted to wander around. This was pretty unproductive, and it had gotten to be full dark at the point that everything turned to the terrifying.

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The Victims of the Aurora Shooting

On July 20, 2012, a deadly shooting transpired at a Cinema 16 theatre in Aurora, Colorado. This tragedy happened during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. A devastating total of 82 casualties were reported. 58 people received non-fatal injuries from gunfire, 4 from tear gas, and an additional 8 people were injured whilst fleeing the theatre. 12 people were killed. This post is a tribute to the fallen victims. 

Jonathan Blunk, 26, pictured with his daughter. Jonathan Blunk was a father of two, as well as a Navy veteran. Between 2004 and 2009, Blunk had served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea. Blunk was killed while protecting his girlfriend, Chantel, pushing her beneath the theater seats.  According to family and friends, Blunk had wanted, if able to choose, to die as a hero. And indeed he did. 

Alexander Boik, 18. Boik’s dream was to become an art teacher. He had been accepted at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, where he would have attended classes in the fall of 2012. Boik enjoyed baseball, music, and making pottery. His family had said that Boik was dating a young woman who was also present at the shooting. She fortunately survived. Boik’s family specified that Alexander was “loved by all who knew him”, and that he was “a wonderful, handsome, and loving 18-year-old young man, with a warm and loving heart”. 

Jesse Childress, 29. Described by Air Force Captain Andrew Williams as knowledgeable, experienced, and respectful, Childress had been an Air Force cyber-systems operator. Childress had been based at the Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. Tech Sergeant Alejandro Sanchez, a co-worker and bowling teammate of Childress, said “He would help anyone and always was great for our Air Force Unit”. Ashley Wassinger, another co-worker, said that Childress “was a great person, fun to be with, always positive and laughing. Really just an amazing person, and I am so lucky to have been his friend”. 

Gordon Cowden, 51. Cowden, a “true Texas gentleman”, was with his two teenage children the night of the Aurora tragedy. Thankfully his children survived the shooting, ultimately escaping unharmed. Cowden had his own business and also loved the outdoors. He was, as described by his family, “a quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor”. Cowden’s family went on to say that he “will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle”. Cowden was the eldest victim of the Aurora shooting. 

Jessica Ghawi, 24. Jessica Ghawi, also known as Jessica Redfield, had only just prior to the shooting, written about surviving a mall shooting in Toronto. The beloved sports writer’s death came as an absolute shock to her brother, Jordan Ghawi. Jessica has been described by friends and colleagues as smart, outgoing, and witty. Hockey player Jay Meloff, Ghawi’s boyfriend, was hit very hard by her death. “140 characters could never do you justice nor could all the words in this world. Never wanted to fall asleep because it meant missing time with you”. Meloff had tweeted the previous words shortly after Ghawi’s death. 

John Larimer, 27. Larimer was a Navy petty officer and the youngest of five siblings. When the shooting began, Larimer immediately rushed to shield his girlfriend, Julia Vojtsek, his life being taken soon thereafter. He had once told his brother Noel that the best way to die was in the process of saving someone else’s life. John Larimer had immense pride for his country and will continue to be loved by his girlfriend, friends, and family. Adam Kavalauskas, a former friend and college roommate of Larimer, expressed that Larimer was “never selfish” and was “always serving others”. 

Matt McQuinn, 27. On the night of the shootings, Matt McQuinn was with his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, and her brother, Nick Yowler. When the shooting commenced, McQuinn and Nick Yowler attempted to shield Samantha with their bodies. The young woman was unfortunately shot in the leg, but was able to escape with her unharmed brother. McQuinn, however, did not survive. His stepfather, David Jackson, stated “I know he’s a hero. He and Sam were very much in love and planning their life together. I am sure they were thinking very seriously about getting married soon.” 

Micayla Medek, 23. Medek was out with a group of about ten friends to see “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. She was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers and loved to hang out with friends. Medek’s aunt, Jenny Zakovich, described her as an independent-minded and sweet girl who rarely asked her family for anything. “This shouldn’t have happened to somebody like her,” Zakovich said. Anita Bush, the cousin of Medek’s father, has said that she hopes “this evil act…doesn’t shake people’s faith in God”. 

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6. Veronica was the youngest victim of the Aurora shooting. “She was excited about life as she should be. She’s a 6-year-old girl,” said her great-aunt. Veronica, an only child, tragically died on the operating table at a local hospital. 

Alex Sullivan, 27. Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday with friends on the night of the shooting. His first wedding anniversary with his wife Cassie would have been just two days later. Sullivan was cherished by his family and friends, and was described as “just a big teddy bear” who gave great hugs. He was smart and funny, with a great smile, according to his loved ones. Sullivan was an enormous movie fan and a comic book geek, as well as a fan of the New York Mets. “He was a very, very good young man,” said Joe Loewenguth, Sullivan’s uncle. 

Alexander Teves, 24. “Alex was a very wonderful, kind, caring person,” said Teves’ aunt, Barbara Slivinske, “He had a great sense of humor. At one point he grew his hair ten or twelve inches long so that he could cut it off and donate it to Locks of Love”. Teves died while protecting his girlfriend as the gunman attacked several movie-goers. He had a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Denver and was aspiring to become a psychiatrist. Alexander Teves is survived in part by his two younger brothers, ages 16 and 17. 

Rebecca Wingo, 31. Wingo was working towards an associates of arts degree at the Community College of Aurora. She had joined the Air Force after graduating from high school. Wingo became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and served as a translator. Her father, Steve Hernandez, posted a FaceBook post saying, “I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man. My grief right now is inconsolable. I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable”. A friend of Wingo, Hal Wallace, said that she had “the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen. She got prettier as she grew older”. 


Other victims who survived, but received extensive lifelong injuries. 

Ashley Moser, the mother of Veronica Moser-Sullivan, suffered a miscarriage not long after the shooting. She also lost her ability to walk as a result of many critical gunshot wounds. Moser will remain in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life. 

Caleb Medley has serious brain damage as well as an eye injury due to a shotgun wound to the head. He requires a feeding tube and has severely impaired movement. Medley can no longer speak. After the completion of three brain surgeries, he was the last victim of the Aurora shooting to be discharged from the hospital. 


The Community First Foundation collected over $5 million for a fund for the Aurora victims and their families. The Aurora Victim Relief Fund announced on November 16, 2012, that each claimant would recieve $220,000. On July 25, 2012, three out of the five hospitals treating Aurora victims announced that they would either limit medical bills or forgive them entirely. 

Eric Harris age 18 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 17 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.

Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
(Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
New York high school.

Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az

What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado

What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or

What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct
Roberts is the only one that I haven’t heard about being on drugs of some kind. “

—  This is the last post John Noveske made on his Facebook page before he was killed

I was waiting for Michael Ramirez to make a cartoon blaming last week’s baseball shooting on the Left in general and in particular the #Resist movement, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, or any other individual who he had issue with. It’s been the response from the rest of the conservative punditry, dredging up violent or pseudo-violent rhetoric that nobody would even be aware of if it wasn’t for them highlighting it, and it would be in line with Ramirez’s response to the Aurora, Colorado shooting back in 2012.

It also would have given me a perfect opportunity to bring up this cartoon from when Gabby Giffords, a Democrat, was attacked.

Remember that? I’m honestly asking if you do. I don’t know if any conservatives remember her, or that Sarah Palin had that infographic targeting Dem Congressional members with crosshairs marking their districts. Or how they rushed to claim that Loughner was a lone nut without any connection to the Tea Party or the Republican party in general and he couldn’t possibly have been indoctrinated by any violent rhetoric against Barack Obama.

I once called this hypocrisy, the ‘any left of center nut represents all Democrats but any right of center nut is a lone individual’ argument, but I’m not even sure it is anymore. And that’s because I don’t know if there’s any real sincerity behind the double-standard.

They’re sincere about beating on liberals and Democrats, make no mistake about that. But it’s the reasoning they come up with to slander the left that rings hollow. Any specific instance - or hell, any general issue like government spending - seized upon to slam the left isn’t really about whether it’s moral or just or logical. It’s all about maintaining the ‘us versus them’ system. Democrats are like this, Republicans are like that; one side is right, the other is wrong, simply because they are Democrats or Republicans.

When Barack Obama took Mitt Romney’s system of health care reform and packaged it as his own it was suddenly a horrible and unjust bill that would cripple the American economy and makes us all slaves to the state. It was OK for a Republican to do it, and wrong for a Democrat to.

Benghazi? We need 58 Congressional hearings. Trump’s ties to Russia? There’s no smoking gun, don’t waste time investigating it.

One of Trump’s sons saying 'Democrats aren’t human?’ Ho-hum. A no-name state-level politician leading an audience in chanting '˜Fuck Trump?’ He may as well have opened fire on the Congressman himself.

I’ve said before that American politics is an unending football game, the pundits and politicians concerned solely with scoring points off the other side. More and more this is laid bare. As all the vile and hateful rhetoric of the Trump campaign is washed away because Madonna once said we should blow up the White House. As all the Obama noose photos don’t count because something something Kathy Griffin. Republicans can take racism, misogyny and xenophobia to all new levels, but Democrats need to be nicer.

It makes doing this blog potentially pointless, because I risk becoming just another voice in the endless cycle of 'No, you are’s and 'Fake news’s. Not that I’m going to quit - unless I were to stop following politics entirely I still need a place to vent - but every time I make a post I have this moment of doubt. 'Is there any point to this?’ Does it help anyone to highlight that a Republican talking point is a load of shit? Is my time spent nailing down why this fake-outrage story is bunk not better spent on something else, given that within a fortnight nobody will remember this moment?