The Colorado Massacre

I know that you wild riders out there come to my blog for a full cup of adventure, but today I am filled with profound sadness.

Last night in Aurora, Colorado, 24-year-old James Holmes, armed with an AK-47 and two other assault weapons while wearing a long black coat and gas mask, killed 12 and wounded 59 movie-goers at the premier of The Dark Knight Rises. As Holmes stormed the theater, he released several tear gas canisters.

He was found leaning up against his car in the parking lot still wearing the mask and holding a rifle. He did not put up a fight and admitted that he had booby-trapped his apartment.

Police are continuing to investigate the apartment where they found a very sophisticated bomb.  The complex and four other buildings have been evacuated.

Holmes is from San Diego, California. He had recently dropped out of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. His parents are in shock and his father reportedly arrived in Denver early this morning.

Please include the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers and give your loved ones an extra hug.

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127 responses to “The Colorado Massacre

  1. Stelios

    Very,very saddening. No respect for your fellow man!

  2. That’s a highly condemnable act and I hope god gives strength to those who were close to the departed.

  3. What frightens me the most about incidents like this, beyond the horrifically low value the perpetrators place on human life, is that no-one seems to see them coming, yet once they happen it becomes clear the warning signs were there. That was true of Anders Breivik not so long ago. I just wish I knew what the solution was. In my own country, as a result of the Dunblane and Hungerford massacres the Labour government introduced extremely restrictive gun control laws, but that didn’t stop the recent Cumbrian or Northumbria shootings.

    It may be there is no truly effective way to prevent incidents like this – obviously you can’t lock someone up for something they might do, and with the best will in the world, people who need serious psychological help are gonna fall through the cracks. And even if gun control laws in the States, or anywhere else for that matter, are tightened, there will always be a black market looking to make a profit. I hope I’m wrong, though.

    • It is easy to see it coming after you combine all the bizarre interactions he had. I don’t know what the answer is either. I think that the economy has put a lot of pressure on people. There is no way to know what what was or is going through his mind, but there is speculation that he snapped when he didn’t get hired right away. I really don’t know since I shut off the TV and haven’t read anything. It was too upsetting. I just have been praying for the victim’s and Holmes families.
      Thanks Jake!

  4. The news has reached us from the Philippines. It’s such a sad event. God bless the victims and their families. :(

  5. I didn’t see your post till today, Susie. I watched all the coverage all weekend. Just so bizarre. I posted on this as well, but had to process the information for a few days.

    Here’s what I wrote:

    • I wrote it and then almost didn’t blog it. Then I read it to my husband who said that I had to. I knew that many hadn’t heard about it yet. I am glad I did. It took me a while before I could answer comments…..

  6. Pingback: Tall Tale Tuesday: Call Me Ishmael « Ellie Ann

  7. We have been following this story from out place out in Vernon.. and I wondered if this wouldn’t hit home for you. What an absolutely tragic story.. it was heartbreaking to read and see on the television. There are no words..

  8. fivereflections

    speechless too
    David in Maine USA

  9. Hey Susie, here’s to a better week ahead for all of us. Peace and light.

  10. It saddens me that this is a viable option for some people. I have family in Aurora and thankfully, they are all safe. A friend of my aunt’s was in theater 8 at the time… so scary to think people who were looking for a bit of an escape through entertainment will no longer be here. Life is precious, love hard those you hold dear.

    • Oh my gosh. Some of the bullets blew right through the wall into that theater. I am sure they are very shaken up. Thank god they are okay.
      I have had some close calls in my own life, so every day when I wake up, I am thankful.
      Thanks Tameri.

  11. I’m back with an insight into James Holmes. He wanted to be the Joker, the nihilist destroyer. He was described as a glass of water, inocuous. Knowing that can send a man over the edge. In the end he is no anarchist antihero, but rather a man whose fanatasy vision of himself overcame the reality.

  12. We all know we are going to hear it publicized: “He’s a sociopath”; “it’s his parents’ fault”;”It’s society’s fault”; “It’s the movie’s fault.” We are a society of blamers. We have to find out the how of it all. I think that part of this is so we can rest assured our own or ourselves would not do such a thing. I would see this in school all the time. The school blames the parents and the parents blame the school. It’s a non-ending circle. I imagine, truth be fully told, it’s a little (or a lot) of several things. We really need to quit doling out blame and seek to service the individuals before it happens. We are not doing that; we are almost an “after the fact” fixer. I know that reasons are important, but, instead of focusing on one, look at the individual an view him/her as a whole person where some things went wrong. Deal with that.

  13. It’s Sunday and I read your post Friday, I wanted to comment, but couldn’t find the right words. I’m not sure if I have them today, either. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. Senseless, simply senseless.

  14. Desperately sad story Susie. My thoughts are with the victims and their families

  15. It is just so incredibly sad. I can’t stop thinking about it.

    • Me either. We have been trying to get out of the house and I haven’t watched any news since Friday. I worried about my own son who had gone out on Thursday night. His phone died. I was so relieved to hear his voice at 1:00 in the afternoon! I can relate so well to the victim’s parents, but my heart goes out to Holmes’ family too.

  16. I’m glad people are remembering to pray for the killer’s family. Some will blame them, but the sad fact of the matter is, even wonderful parents can’t control their adult children.

    This incident leaves me with one question. Like how was this man able to buy ALL of that stuff, including tear gas…and not raise some red flags? Buying a handgun is a complicated process. Records are kept. Good grief, I bought two books, each costing $2.99, over the course of a week at Amazon, and my bank froze my account…until I assured them that I actually bought them. Surely if a bank can do that over books, the government can keep better track of people who are accumulating an arsenal.

    I do not support gun control, but this is so far beyond a citizen having the right to own a GUN. When did it become legal to own a bunch of assault weapons?

    Okay, I’ll stop now. So glad you and your family are okay, Susie!

    • 2004 is when the assault weapon ban was rolled back. He bought them at two different places; one was the Pro Bass Shop.
      Thanks so much for your concern. I freaked out on Friday because Kelly had been out with friends in Denver on Thursday night and his phone was dead until 1:00. The chances were slim that he had driven out to Aurora, but I wasn’t sure. So scary and I could completely relate to those poor parents.
      Holmes’ parents are just devastated. I am sure this was some kind of psychotic break…He ruined so many people’s lives..
      Thanks Kristy for your thoughts…

  17. I wonder what is it that make people snap like that. A university student and apparently a bright one doing something like this. It’s very sad and terrible. Sometimes I feel like it’s not safe anywhere these days…

    • It could be schizophrenia. They completely lose touch with reality and can be violent. At least he is still alive so we can find out how this happened… It is still a shock…Luckily this sort of thing doesn’t happen that often.

  18. Wow… What a story, Susie. I’ve been camping in peaceful idyllic beauty, and haven’t seen any news for 2 weeks. A sad jolt back to reality. Such a senseless loss… I thought I would have to wait till I got back to Seattle, which has been plagued by gun violence for the first time this year. A man almost ready to save lives… turned.

    • That is ironic. I think he was trying to save himself, but lost all touch with reality. I have avoided the news all weekend, but I had heard that he called himself the Joker. So sad…..

  19. A terrible tragedy. It could happen anywhere so strikes to the heart of us all.

    • I agree and it makes me feel vulnerable like after 9/11. It is different in that he gave himself up and seemed to be on his own. I think he was a very mentally ill individual. So sad.

  20. Completely devastating and horrifying. There HAS to be a way to catch these things sooner, before someone gets to this point.

  21. I was so sad to wake up to this news…such a horrible incident. My thoughts are continually with the people that have lost loved ones.

    • It is horrible and you can feel the negative energy every where you go. It will take some time to heal from this. It does help that Holmes did not kill himself. There were so many questions left unanswered after Columbine, but we should hear what set him off and why…
      Thanks Lawrence.

  22. Oh no, this is awful and heart-breaking. I’m glad that your family’s well at least. It’s a real tragedy that this kind of thing still happens. Don’t you think that changing the laws regarding guns would avoid this type of drama?

    In any case, big hugs to you and your family.

    • I think this will bring the gun issue to the forefront. We have a Presidential election in November and I am sure it will be debated.
      Thank you so very much Cecile. The hugs are most appreciated.

  23. What a tragic turn. It’s spine-chilling…such terror unleashed on innocent, defenseless and unsuspecting populace. Our prayers are with your city and all those affected.Thank you for initiating this dialogue Susie.You’re doing an awesome job.

    • Thanks so much. I wasn’t sure if I should blog this, but I thought it would give people a place to vent their thoughts and frustration.

      We really appreciate the prayers. We depend on tourism and were just starting to recover after the fires. It is so sad……The loss of life and suffering of the survivors is incomprehensible. One man was interviewed last night and said he feels deep regret at not being able to do more. He had attended the showing with a friend who was shot. He hadn’t heard whether she had survived and had come to talk to reporters so viewers could pray for her. That man will never be the same.

      I am trying to come up with a way to transition back to promoting the State. I’ll come up with something….
      Thanks BT.

  24. What a tragic happening. I wonder what happened to make this man’s ‘brain go bad’. What were the signs? Why didn’t anyone notice? The world lost so many innocent people and wounded so many others – so tragic. For him to have been enrolled in a Ph.D. program for Neuroscience specializing in psychiatry – I ask myself, why didn’t someone notice that something was seriously wrong? He would have been surrounded by highly skilled specialist on the campus.

    • You know, last night one of our friends thought it peculiar that he was in a field studying the brain. He thinks that Holmes may have been trying to cure or understand his own mental health problems.

      I think he may have been a very good actor around others since no one suspected a thing. The rumor here is when he was apprehended, he told the officers, he was the Joker….
      He must have gone through a complete break with reality.
      Thanks Sheri.

  25. God bless the families..its is such a shocking incident.

  26. We have just heard over here – so terrible….

    • It is shock for the whole world. They still hadn’t been able to identify some of the bodies by 6:30 this evening and many families were still waiting. Can you imagine?
      This is nothing like Columbine. In total 71 people were hurt.

      Some friends called us and wanted to meet for dinner. I really didn’t feel like it but am glad we went out. It has been such a depressing day and life must go on. We passed a church along the way and the parking lot was filled with cars.

      It will take some time to heal from this.

      • It is such a shock – reminds me of the Port Arthur massacre over here (a long time ago) and my bones are chilled thinking about how terrible it would be to be waiting for news of a loved one who might have been killed. But, like you say, life does go on – I sometimes feel guilty about this and almost want to be the one the one suffering rather than the one commiserating. Thank you for drawing attention to this tragedy Susie. Jxx

  27. Hi, Susie. My wife and I are watching news coverage as I type this. It is so very sad. I’m all for freedoms, especially gun freedoms; however, it is on days like these that I want to be the one to destroy the guns. *sigh* I was up at 3 am this morning in order to be at work before 4 am. Before I left, my 18 year old got home. He had just got home from watching the new Batman film – just like those wonderful people wanted to do in Aurora. Rest assured that we have given thanks that he came home safely.
    If only everyone had…


    • Oh my god… Isn’t it scary? My son is 22. He DJ’d a fundraiser last night. Our whole family attended and then he went out with some friends in Denver. His phone was dead until 1:00 and I had worried that they had gone to Aurora. I was so relieved to hear his voice.

      My heart just breaks for the families of the victims. It is so senseless. I have been praying for them…
      Thanks so much Jimmy.

  28. sad, sad, sad! still can’t believe this.. : ((

  29. Miami has a coupla drive – bys every month. Ever hear about them ?

  30. Devastating. I am not prone to believe this is the work of Satan, but I think WE are doing something very wrong. Clearly, a lot of people are ignoring the signs that there are some very troubled people out there. Mental illness is a serious problem in our country, and we aren’t very good at recognizing the signs. We ignore people and plug into our own lives. Such a sad day.

    • I agree. He is alive and we will find out what went terribly wrong.
      I can’t even imagine what it was like for the others in that theater. No one will never be the same. AK-47′s and glocks use huge bullets and they were having a hard time identifying bodies.
      It’s true about how we all need to be vigilant about those around us. It is so easy to turn our backs.
      Thanks Renee.

  31. What does one say in the face of senseless tragedy? There will be so many stories. The scars will persist, but we are resilient in the face of the horrific.

    *hugs* to all involved, and I stand with every American in solidarity against terror, whatever its source.

  32. I was thinking about you and hoping you were all right. Really sad and shocked about the whole thing but glad that you are all right.

    • Thank you so much for thinking about me! I was worried about my son, but he finally charged his phone at noon. He had been out in Denver last night and I figured chances were very slim that they would have trekked out to Aurora. Those poor families. My heart goes out to them.

  33. People will ask “Where was God?”, to which I would say, he was there in those first reponders and all the people who rushed to the scene to help in any way they could. He was there in all the people who have come forward since, and all the people who will.
    I’m cynical as hell on most days, but I’m never without faith.
    Prayers and peace, Colorado.

    • That was so well said Cayman. You should blog your comment. People need to hear your words.
      Thanks again for your concern. My heart just breaks for those families.

  34. Susie…I’m so horrified and mad. How many years of killings does it take? Columbine happened the year my kids were born. I feel for victims families and the killers family. What a terrible thing for all and now well probably need metal detectors at movies ! Geezuz. I don’t know about any movie hype someone mentioned and I’m still going to the theatre soon! We do look bad for having thirteen years of killings in public places, what’s up? Is it guns, people , lack of something or what? Idiopathic is my guess.

    • I think there are a lot more people walking around with mental health issues. Is it the pressure in society? Who knows. He had just dropped out of medical school Maybe he recently became schizophrenic. Apparently they have their first break in their twenties and have a hard time discerning fantasy from reality.

      My heart is so heavy. I couldn’t even answer comments until now. I had to get out of the house.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

  35. Susie,
    How sadly coincidental that we talked about your newsy take lately on your blog this week. What a horrific introduction to your work for those that find you the first time today, and at the same time how dutiful and honorable you represent the people of this state in what has been a heartbreaking and unfair set of days. The infinite shortness of existence is tear jerking in the most natural of ends. Tragedy is the very base of hell. I wrote today because I believe we must always be persistent in our life function. At the same time I am angry that fleeting moments get to decide so much for so many.
    Thank you for sharing

  36. First, I am glad you and your family were not directly involved. When you didn’t post your Flash today I was I can breathe. When they released the picture of this young man I was stunned. I guess I expected a monster, instead I saw someone who could be part of my own family, which is the most frightening fact of all to me…the unknown. I am keeping these people and community in a positive light…may they all find peace.

    • That brings tears to my eyes! Thanks so much for thinking about me. It had been a wild week and I was going to blog a flash photo instead and then I found out this had happened.

      The surprising thing is that it was so premeditated and yet he just gave himself up. Thank God for that since if they had shot him or he had shot himself, his whole apartment complex would have been blown up killing even more innocent people.

      Thanks so much for your kind and loving words.

  37. lynnkelleyauthor

    I shocked and stunned as this horrific massacre. Yes, sending prayers to all those victims and their families and friends.

  38. Karen McFarland

    I thought of you immediately after hearing about this horrendous massacre. There is no excuse for this. I can’t imagine the grief this has caused for so many innocent families. Thank you so much for writing about this today Susie. Our thoughts are with you all in Colorado. :)

    • I wasn’t sure if I should blog it and then it took me a while before I was ready to comment.
      Thank you so much for thinking of me. Those poor families. I was worried today as well when I didn’t hear from my son, but he is alive and well, thank God.
      I know that the victim’s families are thankful for your prayers as am I and everyone else whose heart has broken today. Thank you Karen.

  39. It was the first headline I saw today when I turned on my computer… I feel awful about what happened, my heart goes out to everyone…

  40. I wonder if the theater banned concealed weapons, leaving all the patrons defenseless against this monster. . . .

    • Now mr. Walker, wouldn’t that have been a sight to see. Every wanna’ be hero pulling out their concealed guns, randomly firing in the dark and through the tear gas. How many additional innocent victims might you think there would be?

  41. From what I’ve read, your community is coming together wonderfully in support of the victims.

    • One of the mother’s whose child was a victim in the Columbine massacre, organized a vigil. I am sure that other churches have followed suit. The whole community is in shock and everyone’s in a funk.
      I called my parents in Wisconsin. It is their 55th wedding anniversary and they were going to go out for dinner, but the massacre has put a damper on their spirits too. They are going to wait until we come to town. Then we will have healed a bit and will feel like celebrating.
      The whole nation is in mourning. I am sure it has saddened the world….

  42. It’s Friday, and I’m in an even more humorous mood than I usually am. BUT, unlike certain ‘comics’ named Daniel Tosh, I do NOT think that anything can be funny, and most of all when tragedy and heartache is involved. (Except for the expression on Tosh’s face, after trying to go 15 minutes with me, in a hostile improv comedy throw down, cause he’d look funny as hell after getting a major mind screwing from me. ‘Still think that gang rape jokes are funny, DT? I didn’t think so!’)

    But sorry for going off topic there, Susie, and now I’ll get to the point.

    After hearing about the insane levels of hype surrounding “The Dark Knight Rises” movie – like the death threats made to movie critics who dared to say bad things about the film, and scalpers getting 300 dollars for a ticket to see the movie (?!?!) I was not surprised when I heard about the massacre at a showing of the movie. Deeply saddened? Of course! Outraged? You bet! But surprised? Nope, not at all.

    One of your other commenters said that “Satan is loose upon this planet.” I politely disagree. It’s mindless and fanatical human stupidity that is running wild in our culture today, causing a collective inability for people to keep things right sized and their reactions in the right proportions to what they are reacting to.

    Like spending millions of dollars to put a flippin’ giant rock in a museum in LA, and calling it a great work of Art, just because they very cleverly (dripping sarcasm intended) suspended it in the air, so people can walk underneath it. The Rocky Mountains are a far more massive and greater work of Art than that stupid rock in LA will ever be, which I see as a monument to human pretentiousness, and to the over inflated egos of the people who put it there, and bask in the “glory” of their big but ultimately trivial “accomplishment”.

    So when a mass hysteria of hype breaks out over nothing more important than a movie, and people’s reactions are ramped up to the point that you’d think CNN just reported the Second Coming of Christ as breaking news, I’m not surprised when a dangerously psychotic mind like the one in James Holmes becomes fixated on it, and then acts out by killing 12 people and wounding 50 more.

    It’s a terrible tragedy and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. But surprising? Not to me…

  43. I thought of you Susie as soon as I heard it was Colerado. I have a candle lighting here for all affected. So sad.

    • Ohh. That is so sweet. I really do appreciate that and I know that my fellow Coloradans do too.
      It has been a very tough summer, but this, no one could prepare for. My heart is broken….
      Thanks so much Ellie.

  44. Thank you for offering up prayers. I know they can all use every one of them. It’s a very sad day in Colorado. :-(

    • They really can use every prayer. It will take some time to heal. I remember Columbine and how horrific that was.The whole world is in mourning.
      Thank you so very much Angela.

  45. Reblogged this on Eva Santiago and commented:
    Colorado, you are in my prayers.

  46. Sad. Hopefully the people in Washington DC won’t use this to yet again try to take away guns from good law abiding citizens through more BS gun control laws they they pluck out of thin air. R.I.P.

  47. Good God!

    I had no idea since Hugo’s been riveted to the golf and I’ve been writing. I am so very sorry for each and every person who’s lost someone in this utterly senseless disaster. And to the people of Colorado and the United States my heart goes out to all of you.

    The person responsible sounds desperately unwell to even have considered doing such a thing.

    • You are so right CC! He is unwell and must be completely out of his mind. There is some talk of him dying his hair red. It may be that he took on the persona of the Joker. I am sure it was some kind of mental break with reality.

      His apartment is so booby trapped with wires and string everywhere, the bomb squad has not even been able to enter.

      The miracle was that he wasn’t killed. He could have simply pointed the gun at police or tried to run. He would have been shot and killed and more innocent lives would have been taken from us. The whole building would have been blown up.
      Thanks so much for kind words CC.

  48. How does someone decide to do such a thing?

  49. This just contributes to the global perception that the US is a trigger happy place. If you were given a questionnaire asking where a senseless shooting like this could have occurred: Italy, France, Japan, the UK, the US, you know what your answer would be. This problem is never going to go away because the right to bear arms over here is too easily and too often abused. We’re not the wild west. We’re the reckless west.

  50. I wish they would give less coverage to the perpetrator and more to the victims. Maybe in time. And John (commentor above) Satan has always been loose upon this planet, just as God has been.

    • I agree, less coverage to the perpetrator. Sometimes it is the publicity that these people crave.

      • I agree that Holmes may be getting off on the publicity, but there is reason that they haven’t said anything about the victims. Their families are still being notified. They are not mentioning names out of respect for the families.

        Thousands of reporters from all over the world just descended on Colorado. A brother of one of the victims came forward to be interviewed earlier this afternoon and I could tell he was in a state of shock. He said they hadn’t even gotten a confirmation yet, but they believed she had been killed.

        Some of the wounds were so horrific they were have a hard time identifying some of the bodies. Holmes used 2 glocks and an AK-47. It is so very sad.

        The stories will come out and tributes will be made. In the meantime, they have the killer’s name, but are trying to figure out his motive – hence the hype.
        Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  51. Thank you for this post, Susie. Absolutely heart-breaking…and difficult to wrap my minds around.

    • It is so very sad and painful to think about. I worried about Kelly today since he went out with friends in Denver last night and his phone was dead. He is okay, but I would bet that every parent with adult children went through this today. What if….
      Thanks August.

  52. Such a tragedy for everyone.

  53. I was stunned this morning when I read this online. My heart and my thoughts are with all the people affected by this tragedy – our collective tragedy. Be well, Susie.

    • Thanks Mary. I am in tears again. It is 6:30 and they are interviewing a man who was shot who is blaming himself for not helping more people. His friend that he went with is missing and he is afraid she has died. They are not yet releasing names.

  54. Our prayers hold them all wrapped in the comfort of a loving embrace. So very sad.

  55. It is not in heart to *like* this….

  56. Satan is loose upon this planet. God bless the families. :(

    • It is very sad for all of us. The families are still being notified. One man is still trying to find out if his friend survived. They have not even told her mother and it is 6:30 Friday night.
      Thanks John.

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