James Holmes: Read timeline of his actions before and after Aurora theater shooting


July 20, approximately midnight: Holmes can be seen on a surveillance video entering the Century 16 theater. He's wearing a black skull cap, dark pants and a light-colored button-down shirt. He holds the door open for two people who enter behind him.

July 20, 12:03 a.m.: Holmes attempts to scan his phone to retrieve his movie ticket. He ends up scanning it twice more, presumably because he's having technical difficulties. After successfully retrieving his ticket and giving it to the ticket-taker, Holmes walks to the concession stand and, as one witness said, "stands there for several minutes." He doesn't buy anything. He then walks off-camera toward theater nine.

July 20, before the movie starts at 12:20 a.m.: A witness sitting in the second row tells police that he observed a man in a black bandana or cap who was sitting in the front row take a phone call, walk toward the emergency exit and prop it open with his foot.

July 20, approximately 12:38 a.m.: Holmes is accused of entering the theater through the emergency exit, which was propped open with a plastic tablecloth holder. Wearing enough black ballistic gear to protect his entire body and carrying three guns, he's accused of throwing a canister of tear gas into the audience. Soon afterward, prosecutors say he opened fire, spraying the audience with bullets from a shotgun, a rifle and a handgun. Moviegoers began screaming and scattering but not before some of them were hit. Twelve people were shot and killed and seventy others were wounded from a combination of bullets, tear gas and injuries sustained as they tried to flee.

Thumbnail image for outside century 16 aurora.jpg
Outside the theater that night.
July 20, a few minutes later: Holmes is arrested outside the theater. Police find him standing by his white two-door car, which is parked as close as possible to the emergency exit door for theater nine. They first mistake him for a SWAT officer but soon realize he's not because he's "just standing there," Aurora officer Jason Oviatt testified.

Holmes is wearing a gas mask. Figuring that the only person who would have known to wear one would be the suspect, Oviatt aims his gun at Holmes as another officer shouts for Holmes to put his hands up. Holmes does so "immediately," Oviatt said.

Holmes doesn't resist as the officers order him to lie face-down and handcuff him. "It was just complete compliance," Oviatt testified, adding that Holmes didn't even display the "normal tension" of a person being arrested. He seemed "disoriented and out of it," Oviatt said, as if he were "very detached from it all."

The officers eventually strip him in order to search him for weapons. When asked whether he has any, police testified that Holmes said he had explosives in his apartment. Asked if they were set to go off, Holmes reportedly answered, "If you trip them."

Continue to read more of the James Holmes timeline before and after the July 20 Aurora theater shooting.

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12 comments
mike_k
mike_k

i dont mean to give him credit here but this terrorist was friggen brilliant, the way he trapped his house was a way that would have destroyed the entire building and therefore mass murder..... but he chose to explain all of this.....why???

and why do people do crazy crap like this, this "thing" is disgusting and so is what he did

Debbie Byers Phillips
Debbie Byers Phillips

EVERYtime the media shows his face and gives him the spotlight it gives the next wacka doodle that much more reason to carry out another horrible event. Some people are so mentally unstable they think this is just great and want to be the next "one" to create the media spotlight around them.... STOP IT!!! Show a dark silhouette and put "the shooter"

Lisa Hill
Lisa Hill

Please stop showing his stupid face!!!

Lisa Wolf DeWitt
Lisa Wolf DeWitt

Why don't you show a picture of a different victim each time you run a story on the theater shooting? Or pictures of first responders or those wounded? Or even just a black box. Other news outlets are taking pains not to show his photo so much and obviously, your readers would like you to do the same.

Hillary Leftwich
Hillary Leftwich

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS. He is getting off every tine you post his pic. Way to make a mass murderer feel good about himself.

Megan Haenny
Megan Haenny

Hi. I think you need to stop showing the shooter's picture and name as you seem to enjoy doing. You KNOW you don't have to have that picture on every article. You don't have to use his name. You don't have to glamorize him. BUT YOU DO. You are losing faithful readers left and right based on your refusal to listen to them. No one wants to see him, no one wants to read his name. PLEASE listen to your readers and do something!

Harmonie Marshall
Harmonie Marshall

I agree. People have requested that Westword stop showing his picture, but they don't seem to take that into consideration.

Michelle Shell
Michelle Shell

^^ I agree... Please STOP displaying his picture!!

Lisa Wolf DeWitt
Lisa Wolf DeWitt

you know, I bet you could share that info w/out posting his picture. Are you getting some kind of payoff for everytime you show him?

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