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.
SHOWERS OF BLOOD
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.
- Idaho College Murders: Hearing to Dismiss Indictment for Suspect Bryan Kohberger to Be Held Behind Closed Doors
- Elderly Florida Man Accused of Killing Neighbor Trimming Trees on Fence Line Between Their Homes
- A Pennsylvania Woman Tortured And Starved Her 12-Year-Old Stepson. The Boy Weighed Just 48 Pounds When He Died.
Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.
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.
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.