Miyerkules, Agosto 8, 2012

James Holmes and the Nightmare

James Holmes finished an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience with the highest honors. He never had a criminal record and was never involved in a serious trouble. However he became a dreadful subject when he allegedly opened fire on a Colorado theater audience, killing 12 and wounding 58. Holmes is now facing 24 counts of first degree murder, 116 counts of attempted murder, possession of explosive devices, and inciting violence.

The Once Brilliant Student

Twenty-four years old Holmes was a big fan of superheroes. He decorated his apartment with Batman collectibles. He dyed his hair red believing he can be The Joker, Batman's nemesis.
Holmes enrolled as a Ph. D. student in Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado. He won a government scholarship due to his outstanding academic achievements.

The son of a nurse and a mathematician was raised Lutheran. He played soccer, just like any other normal kid. It was reported that Holmes was a shy boy. His seniors said he was a stubborn kid.
"It was really hard for him to say anything, Jerry Borgie, senior pastor at Penasquitos Lutheran Church in San Diego, where the Holmes family worshipped, told the CS Monitor. You had to ask yes or no questions."

Weeks before the shooting, the once brilliant student failed tests and decided to quit schooling. Records have it that Holmes purchased guns and other weapons legally. He even applied to join a gun club, but never appeared for an orientation.

America's Nightmare

On July 20, 2012, movie-goers flocked inside a movie theater in Colorado to watch the midnight screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

Police reports confirm that the perpetrator bought a ticket and went inside the theater, just like other viewers. After 20 minutes, the perpetrator moved out of the theater house using the emergency exit.
When the perpetrator returned through the exit door, he was already dressed in black. He was wearing a gas musk, a load-bearing vest, a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a throat protector, a groin protector and tactical gloves. Only a few in the audience thought the well-costumed man was dangerous.

The perpetrator then threw a canister emitting a smoke irritating the eyes of the moviegoers, then fired guns continuously. The worst gun-shooting incident in America took place.

The first 911 call was recorded at 12:39AM. Some people in the audience tweeted the ongoing incident, rather than calling the police. Police arrived within 90 seconds. The perpetrator was seized behind the movie house next to his car. He did not resist and allegedly introduced himself as The Joker. He was jailed and now facing multiple criminal cases.

The Shooting Aftermath

The Dark Knight Rises made it to the box office, gaining more than $30 M in midnight showings. It gained extensive international news coverage after the shooting.

Christian Bale, who played Batman in the movie, visited survivors in the hospital without announcing. He also joined a memorial service for the victims of the shooting. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers suspended TV ads and marketing campaigns of the movie in some countries.

Some critics put the blame on the effect of the movie. After the attack, cops arrested another armed man in Washington. The man was also saying he was The Joker.

The incident also sparked political debates regarding gun regulation in the United States. With critics calling for a gun ban, Senate majority leader Harry Reid told the press that it was too soon following the tragedy to have a discussion.

"I think we should just wait for a reasonable period of time before people are off making statements about what they should do and what they shouldn't do," said Reid.

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