DENVER – Authorities say the suspect in one of the worst mass killings in US history owned his weapons legally, and no other attacks on movie theaters are expected.
Investigators believe James Holmes, 24, is the man who arrived at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and killed 12 and wounded dozens of others during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie.
The shooter was dressed in black, outfitted in a gas mask, ballistic helmet, vest and leggings, black tactical gloves, and protectors on his throat and groin. Holmes was allegedly armed with an assault-style rifle, a shotgun and Glock handgun.
Police said he started his attack by tossing at least gas canisters into the theater, where he had bought a ticket for the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises."
Police say there was nothing illegal about the guns and ammunition he allegedly used during the attack.
“All the weapons that he possessed, he possessed legally,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. “And all the clips that he possessed, he possessed legally. And all the ammunition that he possessed, he possessed legally.”
A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing probe into the rampage, said Holmes bought four guns from retailers in the last two months. Holmes bought his first Glock pistol in Aurora, Colo., on May 22. Six days later, he picked up a Remington shotgun in Denver. About two weeks later, he bought a .223 caliber Smith & Wesson rifle in Thornton, Colo., and then a second Glock in Denver on July 6 – 13 days before the shooting, the official said.
A high-volume drum magazine was attached to the rifle, an assault weapon, the official said. Oates said that a 100-round drum magazine for the rifle was recovered from the scene.
“I'm told by experts that with that drum magazine, he could have gotten off 50 to 60 rounds, even if it was semiautomatic, within one minute,” Oates said at a news conference. “And as far as we know, it was a pretty rapid pace of fire in that theater.”
FBI and Homeland Security Department said Saturday there is no information indicating plans for more shooting sprees at movie theaters around the country.
According to an intelligence bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, investigators have not figured out the suspected shooter's motivations.
Security at some movie theaters around the country has been increased after the deadly attack. And some events around the world for the premiere of the new Batman movie have been canceled or scaled back.