UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: A 24-year-old man who is accused of massacring a dozen people and injuring 58 others at a midnight showing of the Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, in a Colorado movie theater, attended college at UC Riverside and was an exceptional student.
James Holmes graduated with honors from UCR with a BS in neuroscience in the Spring of 2010. He attended the university on a merit-based scholarship and his dates of attendance were Fall 2006 through Spring 2010, according to the university. The suspect had no history of contact with UCR police during his time at the school.
Accordiing to UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White, Holmes' academic achievements made him "the top of the top."
Holmes was taken into police custody in the Century Aurora 16 movie theater parking lot after gunfire broke out around 12:40 a.m. Friday, authorities have confirmed.
Holmes allegedly wore what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest and riot-type mask as he opened fire in the movie theater with three weapons. He allegedly hurled a gas canister inside the crowded theater. As smoke from the canister spread, audience members watching The Dark Knight Rises at the suburban Denver theater saw the silhouette of a person materialize near the screen, point a gun at the crowd and begin shooting, apparently without a word, The Associated Press reported.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the suspect's hair was dyed or painted red.
Some of the victims were treated for chemical exposure, including a 4-month-old baby, who was treated at a hospital and released, according to The Associated Press.
The theater is about five miles from Holmes' Aurora third-story apartment, which was being searched by police for explosives and more weapons. The Associated Press reported the apartment appeared to have been booby-trapped and was being evacuated.
Holmes apparently acted alone, authorities said. The motive was unclear.
Details are emerging that show Holmes to be a young student who hailed from San Diego and didn’t get into any trouble. He was pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Denver, but was in the process of withdrawing from the program. University of Colorado Hospital spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said she didn't know why he was exiting the program.
Holmes is a 2006 graduate of Westview High School in Poway. A search of San Diego Superior Court shows Holmes has no local record—not even a traffic ticket, said Karen Dalton, a public affairs officer with the court.
A press release from the Poway Unified School District says Dr. John Collins, the district superintendent, was contacted by the San Diego Police Department regarding the alleged shooter.
“On behalf of the Poway Unified School District, Superintendent Collins joins the rest of the nation in offering our deepest condolences to the victims and their families,” the release stated.
The suspected shooter's family, who live in Rancho Penaquitos, released the following statement:
"Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time Our family is cooperating with authorities in both San Diego, California, and Aurora, Colorado. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy."
The Aurora police department is leading the investigation, with assistance from agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said FBI special agent Darrell Foxworth.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Colorado is coordinating the federal law enforcement response and working closely with the state District Attorney’s office with respect to any federal, state, or local charges that might be applicable, according to Foxworth.
San Diego police provided security Friday to the Rancho Penasquitos home of Holmes’ mother.
Arlene Holmes told ABC News that her son is the man accused in this morning's massacre.
Around daybreak, San Diego police officers were spotted in and outside of Arlene Holmes' residence in the Rancho Penasquitos area as media crews started to gather outside with video cameras. Police Chief William Lansdowne said the officers were there to provide security to the Holmes family and to assist Aurora police by gathering information for that agency's investigation.
Shortly before 7:30 a.m., police were spotted escorting a man out of the home and whisking him away in an unmarked police sedan. There was no immediate word on where the man was headed or his possible relation to the alleged shooter, but he was carrying what appeared to be luggage.
The shooting has prompted the , according to Iowa City Patch local editor Stephen Schmidt.
The tragedy also scrubbed a, by first lady Michelle Obama, according to Fredricksberg Patch local editor Dan Telvock.