By DiMarkco Chandler:
The theater shooting on Friday killed 12 and wounded 58 but, investigator still don’t know how long the attack lasted or how many shots were fired by suspected gunman James Holmes.
Weapons used in the shooting included an AR 15 semi-automated rifle, a Remington 870 pump action shotgun, and a 40 caliber Glock handgun. A second 40 caliber Glock was recovered from Holmes’ vehicle.
News reports have referenced an assault rifle which by definition is capable of fully automatic fire. The stock AR 15 fires one round per pull of the trigger, and is technically not an assault rifle. But authorities can’t say for certain if the gun used in the shooting had been somehow modified for faster fire rate.
The rifle was reportedly equipped with a 100 round drum magazine. Experts say, the weapon, if in stock configuration, was therefore capable of a sustained rate of fire of 50 to 60 rounds per minute.
According to a press conference given by Aurora police Chief Dan Oats’, Holmes had purchased all of the guns legally within the last two months from local gun shops. Ammunition is more readily available than fire arms, and generally does not require a license or any sort of paper work. Oat’s said all the ammo Holmes brought, reportedly six thousand rounds, was easily acquired on line.
The question is whether the shooting will galvanize new gun control measures or policy for online purchases. Local experts Dale Elliot Director of the CU Center for the study and prevention of violence says: “Policy changes aren’t likely… It appears that this was so carefully planned at this point that laws wouldn’t have been a deterrent. I don’t care what kind of gun laws you have, it wouldn’t have stopped it.”
ABC news reported just last evening that Holmes had mailed out a notebook detailing his plan. They report that a notebook was mailed to a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado. It is believed to contain full details of how he was going to kill people. Drawing of what he was going to do, drawings and illustrations of the massacre.
There are conflicting reports on whether the notebook arrived at the University before or after the massacre. But it apparently was not found until Monday during a search of the mailroom. This raises question about whether if the package had been found before last Thursday, the carnage could have been avoided. The University will not confirm the existence of the notebook; but released a statement saying it delivers the mail the same day it is received. The University has also refused to say whether James Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist. Campus officials have insisted they handled the Holmes case correctly. As we learn more about Holmes it appears his downward spiral from a successful and apparently happy student to an accused mass murderer seems to have begun sometime after he enrolled in the PhD program last fall where he reportedly struggled academically.
On June 7th, hours after Holmes took a key oral exam which he failed. He went out to a local sporting goods store and purchased a high powered rifle. Three days later he withdrew from the PhD program offering no explanation.