The Aurora Theatre Shooting
On July 20th, 2012, during a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at a Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms killing 12 people and injuring 70.
The perpetrator bought a ticket, entered the theater, and sat in the front row. About 20 minutes into the film, he left the building through an emergency exit door, propped it open, and returned with weapons and other gear before storming the audience and opening fire.
He was dressed in black and wore a gas mask, a load-bearing vest, a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a bullet-resistant throat protector, a groin protector, and tactical gloves. He was also listening to techno music through a set of headphones.
James Eagan Holmes, born December 13th, 1987 and 24 at the time, was arrested in the theatre parking lot.
He had booby-trapped his apartment with explosives before the shooting, which were defused one day later by a bomb squad.
For a period of time this was the highest casualty single mass shooter event in American history, up until the 2016 assault on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Prior to the killings, Holmes had been receiving treatment for mental health problems; he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. His trial began on April 27th, 2015. The trial lasted 11 weeks after which he was found guilty. On August 24th, Holmes was sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences plus 3,318 years without parole.