William Norman Grigg
JUly 24, 2012
As if performing a tribute to the masked terrorist who is the film’s chief antagonist, 24-year-old Aurora, Colorado resident James Holmes allegedly carried out an armed rampage at the local midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, leaving at least a dozen people dead and more than 50 wounded. One of the victims was a three-month-old infant.
Holmes, a former Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the University of Colorado, reportedly purchased a ticket to the film, left the theater after the movie began, and returned wearing a gas mask and riot gear – what some described as a “full SWAT uniform.” Armed with four firearms, Holmes was described as setting off a gas grenade and then shooting as panicked movie patrons dove for cover or ran for the exits. After surrendering to police outside the theater, Holmes informed investigators that his residence – part of an apartment complex reserved for students, patients, and staff at the University of Colorado Medical Center — was rigged with explosives.
“People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me, jumping over me. And there were bodies on the ground,” recalled eyewitness Christopher Ramos. “I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die.”