Cinema shooter′s apartment ″booby-trapped″ | News | DW | 20.07.2012
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Cinema shooter's apartment "booby-trapped"

The gunman who shot dead a dozen people at a film screening in Colorado, USA, also booby-trapped his apartment, it emerged on Friday. The suspect has been identified as James Eagan Holmes.

James Holmes, 24, is seen in this undated handout picture released by The University of Colorado July 20, 2012. Holmes is the suspect in a shooting attack which killed 12 people at a midnight premiere of the new Batman movie in a suburb of Denver early on Friday, according to law enforcement officials. The University of Colorado Denver/Aschutz Medical Campus confirmed that Mr. James Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the University of Colorado Denver's graduate program in neurosciences. REUTERS/The University of Colorado/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Colorado Amoklauf Tatverdächtige James Holmes

US FBI agents and police said on Friday that the apartment of the man suspected of shooting dead 12 people and injuring around 50 at a Batman film screening in Colorado on Friday was booby-trapped with explosives. Five surrounding buildings were evacuated as the authorities investigated how to safely defuse the bomb.

Watch video 01:23

Shooting rampage during Batman premiere

"His apartment is booby-trapped. We are trying to determine how to disarm the flammable or explosive material. We could be here for hours or days. The pictures are fairly disturbing. It looks very sophisticated, how it's booby-trapped. It could be a very long wait," said the Aurora police chief Daniel Oates.

Police have identified the suspect as 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes, a former PhD student in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus. In a statement, the school said on Friday he had been in the process of withdrawing from the program.

Holmes was arrested by police at his white Hyundai parked in the back of the movie theater. Oates said that officers found an AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 12-guage shotgun and a .40 caliber Glock handgun in the theater. Another handgun was found in Holmes' car.

It is the worst mass shooting to occur in the US since the Virginia Tech gun rampage in 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho massacred 32 people on campus before committing suicide. It also had tragic parallels of scale with the incident at Columbine High School in 1999, when two students fired on their classmates, killing 12 along with a teacher.

President Obama "shocked"

President Obama reacted to the tragedy by cutting short his campaign swing through Florida on Friday.

"Such violence, such evil, is senseless. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living," he said during a speech in Florida.

"The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved," Obama added.

Obama was to "then return to the White House," said Jen Psaki, the president's spokesperson.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama has branded the shooting "evil"

Obama earlier on Friday published a statement saying he and his wife Michelle were "shocked and saddened" by the shooting.

"We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family," the president added.

The makers of the Batman film, Warner Bros, also responded to the tragedy by announcing that the Paris premiere for the film would be postponed.

sej/slk(AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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