James Holmes, 24, has been identified by law enforcement as the man who allegedly walked into a crowded Aurora, Colo. movie theater early Friday morning and opened fire on attendees.
At least 12 people were killed in the largest U.S. mass shooting since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.
According to multiple reports, Holmes was taken into police custody after being spotted outside the Century 16 movie theater in the direct aftermath of the shooting. His motive remains unclear, but presumably he targeted attendees of The Dark Knight Rises premiere because he knew that the theater would be packed to maximum capacity at that time.
He was reportedly armed with an assortment of firearms, knives and possibly some sort of tear gas.
As per Tony Aiello of CBS New York, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters today that Holmes had "hair painted red” like “The Joker." (Exact quote: “We have some information, most of it is public. It clearly looks like a deranged individual. He had his hair painted red, he said he was ‘The Joker,’ obviously the ‘enemy’ of Batman.”)Chief Dan Oates, the person who is leading this current investigation, reportedly worked closely with Kelly at some points over his 21 years with the NYPD.
Authorities have confirmed that Holmes rented an apartment a few miles away from the movie theater where the shooting happened. As of this moment, police are trying to get inside – a process made all the more complicated because they believe he booby trapped the apartment with explosives.
There are currently around 100 agents on scene assisting with the investigation, but the process may continue to move slowly as everyone tries to proceed in the most cautious, careful manner possible.
Predictably, Holmes has been described to law enforcement as a loner. Other than that, little is known about him at this time. Per the FBI, he’s a white male standing just over six feet tall with no ‘significant’ criminal record. He apparently attended high school in San Diego before eventually moving to Colorado to study “neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school.”
Earlier, a San Diego, Calif. woman spoke briefly with ABC News and identified herself as Holmes’ mother.
"You have the right person," she said. "I need to call the police ... I need to fly out to Colorado."