The Colorado theatre shooting suspect is said to be a loner who dropped out of medical school in June this year, described himself as 'quiet and easy going' on an online rental application.
24-year-old James Holmes abruptly withdrew from the University of Colorado School Of Medicine in Denver said the college spokeswoman, Jacque Montgomery on Friday, 20 July, 2012.
Montgomery said she had no idea when he started school and what prompted him to withdraw, just weeks before the young medico snapped, going on a shooting rampage inside a crowded Colorado theatre screening "Dark Knight"; killing twelve and wounding at least 50 others.
James Holmes had come to Colorado from California and resided on a third-floor apartment in North Aurora, a Denver suburb which is around four miles from the theatre where the mass shooting took place.
When Denver Post spoke to his neighbors they described James Holmes as a solitary kind who refused to acknowledge even when residents said a hello to him. One neighbor told the newspaper: “No one knew him … No one,” he emphasized.
Tom Mai, a retired electrical engineer who lives in the Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood where Holmes grew up, told LA Times, that James graduated from Westview High School in San Diego in 2006. But he could not find work even after graduating from UC Riverside in 2010 with a bachelor's in neuroscience.
Mai recollecting about Holmes' character said he was a very shy, well-mannered young man who was heavily involved in the local church activities. "He seemed to be a normal kid, I don't know what triggered it. This makes me very sad," Mai added grimly.
Reportedly Holmes had booby-trapped his apartment before driving off to carry out the killing spree at the packed theater comprising of a midnight crowd for “The Dark Knight Rises.” He had even left a song playing on repeat mode inside his home. On his kitchen wall was a poster hanging of Will Ferrell from the movie “Anchorman.”
Denver post reported that Holmes had moved into his brick apartment in May 2011. The Colorado shooting suspect’s neighbors were asked to evacuate in the hours following the killings since there was the risk from the explosives allegedly stocked there.
Last year on an online rental application, Holmes described himself as a “quiet and easy-going medical student” According to reports, he must have been a brilliant student as he was aspiring to do his Ph.D. in neuroscience.
San Diego police Lt Andra Brown held a press conference just outside James Holmes's mother's house in the Rancho Penasquitos, in northeast San Diego. Brown said: "The Holmes family is very upset by all of this. It is a tragic event and has taken everybody by surprise." According to him there was nothing to link the Holmes family home with the shooting.
The police spokesperson also provided a statement from the Holmes family in which they said their "hearts go out to those who [were] involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved."
In fact when Holmes mother was awakened on early Friday with word of the bloody Aurora, Colo., rampage, the dazed woman told ABC News “You have the right person … I need to call the police ... I need to fly out to Colorado.”
James Holmes who was apprehended by police outside the theater, is currently in police custody. FBI says that though he wore a gas mask during his attack, he was not a military veteran nor was he linked to any terrorist groups.