Front Page Detectives

Aurora Movie Massacre: Crazed Joker Killed 12 and Wounded Dozens More in Theater of Death (FPD CASE VAULT)

Aurora Movie Massacre: Crazed Joker Killed 12 and Wounded Dozens More
Source: RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images

Aug. 25 2023, Published 4:02 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Quiet, unassuming loner James Holmes allegedly turned a midnight premiere of a Batman movie into a terrifying real-life "horror film" by brutally killing 12 and wounding 70 in an Aurora, Colo., theater.

Decked out in protective tactical gear and with his hair dyed orange like Batman's archenemy the Joker, the twisted 24-year-old lobbed tear gas into the packed theater on July 20, 2012, just 30 minutes after The Dark Knight Rises began and mercilessly opened fire on the panicked crowd.

"He was just literally shooting everyone, like hunting season," said shaken witness Chris Ramos.

Article continues below advertisement


Aurora Movie Massacre: Crazed Joker Killed 12 and Wounded Dozens More
Source: Aurora PD/Splash News/Corbis

These grim photos show the bloody aftermath of the 2012 Aurora movie theater massacre in which 12 people died. Police released the raft of disturbing images which show the exterior of the film venue following the shooting, which took place during a midnight screening of the Batman movie 'Dark Knight Rises'. Blood is smeared on the ground at doorways where people scrambled to flee the horror, after mad man James Holmes opened fire on crowds.

He initially blasted away with a shotgun, then switched to a high-capacity assault rifle. When the rifle jammed, Holmes drew a Glock .40-caliber pistol and continued to spray the theater with bullets as frantic patrons raced toward the exits amid screams and showers of blood.

"Every few seconds, it was just: 'Boom, boom, boom,'" moviegoer Jennifer Seeger recalled.


Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.

Aurora Movie Massacre: Crazed Joker Killed 12 and Wounded Dozens More
Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Police swarmed the Century 16 movie theater after the bloodbath inside. Holmes lobbed tear gas into a packed movie before opening fire with an assault rifle and a pistol.

Holmes tried to escape by blending in with police tactical squads, but two alert cops spotted his non-regulation SWAT-like gear and apprehended him.

Afterward, police discovered that he'd also booby-trapped his nearby apartment with explosives.

Holmes is now facing 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.


Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 FRONT PAGE DETECTIVES™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. FRONT PAGE DETECTIVES is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.