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BBC Panorama Interview with the parents of James Holmes. His mother Arlene speaks of some of her personal struggles since the shooting on July 20/2012

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. 

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James Holmes talking about how the shootings were supposed to increase his self worth during an interview.

James Holmes entered the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on the 20th of July, 2012 and opened fire. Twelve people were killed and 70 others got injured.
He was sentenced to 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years without parole.

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
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James Holmes about regretting not getting admitted to a mental hospital.

James Holmes entered the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on the 20th of July, 2012 and opened fire. Twelve people were killed and 70 others got injured.
He was sentenced to 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years without parole. 

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Raw footage showing the ATF Bomb Squad seeking out the apartment of James Holmes to disarm the explosives he had set up prior to heading to the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where he opened fire at the midnight showing of Batman; The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 and injuring more than 70 people. Video obtained & edited by guns.com.

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James Holmes about viewing himself as mentally ill in university.

James Holmes entered the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on the 20th of July, 2012 and opened fire. Twelve people were killed and 70 others got injured.
James was sentenced to 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years without parole.

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Police photographs of the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado where James Holmes opened fire on July 20, 2012.

Patrons were enjoying a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ when Holmes entered the theatre and open fire with a 12-gauge shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle. Twelve people were killed and over 80 injured.

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. 

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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Aurora Shooter James Holmes Gets Brutal Introduction To Prison Life.

Following a fight with a fellow inmate, Aurora, Colorado, shooter James Holmes was moved to an out-of-state maximum security facility – and his attacker subsequently apologized for not killing him. According to an ABC News report, the attack was “part of the reason for moving” Holmes, though there were “many concerns” that led to his transfer.

Colorado Prisons Director Steve Hager said Holmes was not supposed to cross paths with any other inmates, but through an accidental oversight by a staffer he came in contact with car thief Mark “Slim” Daniels. Daniels hit Holmes several times around his head through a sliding gate.

Daniels later sent a letter to Westword, confirming the attack.

“First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest condolences to all the victims and to the families,” he wrote.

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t wipe him out and sent [sic] him packing to Satan’s lake of fire. It was just impossible to do by myself with so many cops. I did get him six or seven good ones and this stupid ass case manager [name deleted] ran out of her office and and put her head in front of Holmes’ cause I was about to knock him out. That’s why she got socked a few times.”

“Once we were on the ground I looked in his eyes and he knew he came close with his demise. He was very scared. I’m so sorry I couldn’t finish him for you.”

No criminal charges were filed against Daniels for the incident. He pleaded in his letter for readers to donate money to him so he could purchase a television.

“I also am open for pen pals out there,” he wrote. “There’s really not too much do in a 7x12 box for the next year so feel free to write.”