The masked gunman who killed at least 12 people at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie in a suburb of Denver was allegedly a 24-year-old man named James Holmes, officials told NBC News on Friday.
The gunman, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest and dressed entirely in black, was not on any watch list that would have alerted authorities that he was dangerous, officials said. The incident was not believed to have any connection to international terrorism, they added. Some witnesses also told reporters that the shooter was wearing a gas mask or or goggles.
The car Holmes was driving had Tennessee plates, but police sources told NBC News that they believed he had been living locally. Federal authorities told NBC News that Holmes has no military history.
Police said the gunman entered through an exit door and appeared at the front of the theater in Aurora, Colo., and released a canister, thought to be tear gas, that let out a hissing sound.
He then started shooting into the crowd, sparking pandemonium. Police told NBC News that Holmes carried two pistols, a rifle and a shotgun.
"He looked so calm when he did it," an eyewitness told NBC affiliate KUSA. "It was like scary. He waited for both the bombs to explode before he did anything. Then, after both of them exploded, he began to shoot."
"He had no specific target. He just started letting loose," the witness added.
Holmes was later detained in the movie theater parking lot. He was carrying a knife, a rifle and a handgun. "He did not resist, he did not put up a fight," Fania told Reuters.
After being captured by police, Holmes told authorities he had explosive materials in his apartment, KUSA reported.
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