Quantcast
Connect with us

Bomb squad renewing effort to enter Aurora suspect’s apartment

Published

on

Bomb squad experts will try on Saturday to enter a gunman’s booby-trapped apartment, hours after a late-night vigil for the 12 killed in a US cinema massacre that also injured 58.

Hundreds of mourners held candles, many sobbing and hugging each other in an outpouring of grief for those who died when the gunman opened fire in a packed cinema showing Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The shooting drew expressions of concern from political leaders led by President Barack Obama, and revived the perennial debate about gun control in the United States.

On Saturday, Obama promised justice to the residents of Aurora, Colorado, saying: “The federal government stands ready to do everything necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”

He said the government “will take every step possible” to ensure the safety of all Americans.

Bomb squad experts had been trying for much of the day Friday to gain entrance to the apartment since shortly after the shooting in the town of Aurora just outside Denver.

But they gave up shortly before sundown, and said they would resume again on Saturday, when they hope to make a breakthrough that could also reveal clues as the motives of 24-year-old gunman James Holmes.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It is a very vexing problem how to enter that apartment safely. I personally have never seen anything like what the pictures show us is in there. I’m a layman when it comes to bomb stuff, said Aurora police chief Dan Oates.

“I see an awful lot of wires, trip wires, jars full of ammunition, jars full of liquid. Some things that look like mortar rounds. We have a lot of challenge, to get in there safely.”

Late Friday the town gathered for two vigils, including a midnight one, as it emerged that Holmes bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet, and four guns, in the two months before the shootings.

ADVERTISEMENT

The masked, black-clad shooter burst into a movie theater barely 20 minutes into the midnight screening, throwing two tear-gas type devices before opening fire.

“As far as we know, it was a pretty rapid pace of fire in that theater,” said Oates, his voice shaking at times with emotion, and exhaustion after a long night and day dealing with the trauma.

ADVERTISEMENT

In an end-of-day update, he amended slightly the number of victims of the shooting at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie from 71 to 70. Twelve of them died, including 10 in the theater.

A local children’s hospital reported six young victims, the youngest of whom was aged only six. At least three of the wounded were US military members, the Pentagon said.

Shots fired in one auditorium went through the wall and hit people in the auditorium next door. The first police were on the scene within 90 seconds, while eventually some 200 officers swarmed around the building.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In the last 60 days, he purchased four guns at local metro gun shops and through the internet he purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition,” the police chief said.

He added: “My understanding is that all the weapons that he possessed he possessed legally, and all the clips that he possessed, he possessed legally, and all the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally.”

Police arrested Holmes — who was wearing full body armor and a gas mask, apparently to protect him from effects of his own tear gas — without encountering resistance by his car at the rear of the theater.

Holmes, who reportedly attended the University of Colorado medical school until last month, had no criminal record aside from a citation for speeding in October 2011, according to police.

ADVERTISEMENT

Witnesses described chaos chillingly similar to that depicted in the Batman films, in which maniacal villains terrorize Gotham City.

“I saw some people start to get up. I poked my head up to see what was going on and when I did that I saw another flash and instantly put my head down as he started shooting again,” said 17-year-old Tanner Coon.

Cinemas in New York tightened security at Batman showings, and the AMC theater chain announced a ban on face masks and fake weapons — several people wore costumes in Aurora, possibly helping Holmes to blend in with the melee.

The French premiere of the film in Paris was cancelled.

ADVERTISEMENT

As with previous such shootings, lobby groups and some political leaders called for legislation to restrict civilians’ access to firearms.

“Maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do because this is obviously a problem across the country,” New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Aurora is 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the scene of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, in which two students shot dead 13 people before committing suicide.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘NPR will not be intimidated’: Mike Pompeo blasted for attacks on reporter Mary Louise Kelly

Published

on

National Public Radio (NPR) is standing by "All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly after she was attacked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"One day after a contentious interview followed by an expletive-filled verbal lashing of NPR host Mary Louise Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is publicly accusing her of lying to him — 'twice,'" NPR reported. "He does not explain how and offers no evidence, but in their recorded interview the nation's top diplomat declined to respond when Kelly asked if he owed an apology to Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted from that post last year after allies of President Trump accused her of disloyalty."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump lawyers argue ‘the president did absolutely nothing wrong’ as GOP presents impeachment trial defense

Published

on

White House lawyers began their defense of Donald Trump at his historic Senate impeachment trial on Saturday, saying the president did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and American voters -- not Congress -- should decide his fate.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said it would be a "completely irresponsible abuse of power" if the Senate follows the lead of the House of Representatives and votes to remove the 45th US president from office.

"They're asking you to do something that no Senate has ever done," Cipollone told the 100 senators gathered on a rainy Saturday morning for a rare weekend session at just the third impeachment trial in US history.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Louise Linton defended Greta Thunberg against her husband’s attack — but deleted her comments in less than an hour

Published

on

The wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stood up against her husband online on Saturday, but quickly deleted her comments.

At the World Economic Forum, Mnuchin told climate action activist Greta Thunberg to "go study economics."

"I stand with Greta on this issue. (I don’t have a degree in economics either)," Linton posted on Instagram.

"We need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels," she explained.

"Keep up the fight @gretathunberg," she urged.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image