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Posts tagged ‘Aurora’

4 dead after police standoff at a Colo. townhome.

AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Four people, including an armed suspect, died during an hours-long police standoff Saturday at a Colorado townhome, authorities said.

An Aurora police department SWAT team responded after shots were heard at the townhome at 3 a.m., said Aurora police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson. Investigators said three people, all adults, appeared to have been killed before officers arrived.

The suspect shot at police at 8:15 a.m. and was killed during a shootout when officers stormed the home about 45 minutes later, Carlson said. It wasn’t known if officers shot the suspect or if he shot himself.

A fifth person escaped unharmed before officers arrived and reported that she saw three people inside the home who “appeared lifeless,” Carlson said.

The sergeant declined to elaborate about the woman’s escape.

A motive for the killings was unknown. Police wearing gloves and carrying evidence bags were going over the crime scene.

“We’re just getting in there with our crime scene detectives, so obviously we’ll have to determine if it was our rounds or his rounds,” Carlson said.

Police declined to release the name of the suspect or victims.

Officers evacuated neighbors during the standoff and used a bullhorn to communicate with the gunman, urging him to surrender.

A large front window was missing in the modest two-story townhome, the window’s mini-blinds in disarray. Bullet holes marked two upstairs windows. Neighbors milled about outside.

The shootings occurred about four miles southeast of the Aurora Mall, where 12 people were killed and dozens wounded by a gunman at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. The man charged in that shooting, James Holmes, goes to court Monday for a preliminary hearing in which prosecutors will lay out their case against him.

Aurora, just east of Denver, is one of Colorado’s largest and most diverse cities with more than 335,000 residents. It is home to Buckley Air Force Base as well as the sprawling University of Colorado Health Sciences Center campus.


Associated Press writer Thomas Peipert contributed to this story.


By P. SOLOMON BANDA | Associated Press

Batman Movie Shooting May Harm Movie Theater Attendance.

Aurora, Colo., Century 16 movie theater
The Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where 12 were killed and dozens injured on July 20 (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Despite some conflicting research, a new study by Front Porch Research shows that the Aurora, Colo., shooting at this summer’s new Batman movie may lead to decreased attendance at movie theaters.

Front Porch Research surveyed 500 adults and 300 “tweens” between the ages of 12 and 15 after the shooting. Their survey reveled that 34 percent of adults and 30 percent of children between 12 and 15 were either “somewhat more” or “a lot more” concerned about violence in movies and TV after the shooting.

The survey also found, “19 percent of tweens and 18 percent of adults claimed that they would see fewer movies at the theater. If 19 percent of the 221 millions moviegoers in 2011 were to watch one less movie, the financial impact would be a $333 million annual reduction in [movie ticket] sales.”

Despite this apparent increase in awareness of violence in the media, the level of violence in movies aimed at teenagers is still alarming.

A week after the movie The Hunger Games was released, Front Porch Research conducted a survey regarding the movie’s kid-on-kid violence.

This survey found, “80 percent of women Hunger Games watchers did not have any concerns about tweens or teenagers reading the book or watching the movie. Eight-four percent of men did not have any concerns.”

Also, 19 percent of the women and 33 percent of the men felt that the violence was “not graphic enough.”

The numbers in both studies should make parents want to teach proper discernment of the media to their children. They should also send a message to Hollywood that, when more people like the Aurora shooter try to replicate the violence they see at the cinema, less people will want to make the trip to their local cinema.


Aurora Theater Where Gunman Shot 70 People Could Re-Open by New Year.

The site of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history could reopen as soon as the New Year.

The Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., has been shut down since July 20, when a gunman opened fire during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 people and leaving 58 wounded. In August, the City of Aurora launched an online survey asking what should be done about the theater.

The majority of people who responded said they supported re-opening the theater. Those results were passed along to Cinemark, the owner of the theater, with a letter from Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan.

“We believe that we are hearing, and indeed have heard for some time, a collective wish and desire for the theater to re-open,” Hogan said. He added that he had consulted with victims, victims advocates and community members about the decision.

Hogan asked for special provisions, including victim and survivor visitation, memorials and a possible change to the exterior appearance of the building to be considered.

Tim Warner, CEO of Cinemark, responded, saying the company would work with the city to determine the best way to re-open the theater.

“We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever,” he said. “We hope the theater will be ready by the beginning of the New Year.”


By Alyssa Newcomb | ABC News Blogs

Prosecutors argue for access to Holmes’ notebook.

  • Colorado shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes makes his first court appearance in Aurora, Colorado in this file photo taken July 23, 2012.  Accused Colorado gunman James Holmes had conversations with a classmate in March about wanting to kill people, four months before the suburban Denver rampage in which he is accused of shooting dead 12 moviegoers, a court document showed on Friday.  REUTERS/RJ Sangosti/Pool/Files   (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW)Enlarge PhotoReuters/REUTERS – Colorado shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes makes his first court appearance in Aurora, Colorado in this file photo taken July 23, 2012. Accused Colorado gunman James Holmes had conversations …more 

DENVER (AP) — The lead police investigator in the Colorado theater shooting is expected to take the stand Thursday as prosecutors make their case for why they should have access to a notebook sent by the suspect to a university psychiatrist that purportedly contains descriptions of a violent attack.

Prosecutors on Aug. 30 suffered a setback in obtaining the notebook when Arapahoe County District Judge William B. Sylvester ruled that they could not disprove a doctor-patient relationship between suspect James Holmes and University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. He scheduled Thursday’s hearing to take up the issue again.

Defense attorneys said Holmes is mentally ill and sought Fenton’s help. Sylvester rejected prosecutor arguments that a doctor-patient relationship ended June 11, the last time Fenton saw Holmes. Holmes has been charged with 142 counts, including murder and attempted murder, stemming from the July 20 attack at an Aurora theater that killed 12 and wounded 58 others.

A court document indicated Wednesday that prosecutors are seeking now to add 10 more counts against Holmes and amend 17 others, but it didn’t disclose details and a judge has issued a gag order limiting what information lawyers can publicly disclose in the case.

In their quest to obtain Holmes’ notebook, prosecutors are arguing that it and its contents are fair game because Holmes wasn’t going to be undergoing therapy because he planned to be dead or in prison after the shooting rampage at an opening night showing of “The Dark Night Rises.”

At last month’s hearing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson didn’t explain that but pointed to a dating site on which Holmes asked if he would be visited in prison.

Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman told Sylvester that Aurora police major crimes detective Craig Appel, the lead investigator, and detective Tom Welton, an investigator in the case, would testify Thursday.

Orman said in court that Appel will testify that Holmes bought a ticket at the theater, took a seat, then walked out of an emergency exit, propping the door open so he could come back and start shooting. Orman said Welton will testify that it was Holmes who posted profiles on and before the shooting with the tagline, “Will you visit me in prison?”

In the days following the shooting, bloggers posted profiles reportedly found on those sites showing the same prison comment accompanied by a picture of a man with orange hair who resembled Holmes. In one posting under the screen name, Classic_Jim, favorite movies listed include the Jim Carrey cult classic “Dumb and Dumber,” and “Star Wars, etc.”

As a possible motive, prosecutors suggest Holmes was angry at a failing academic career.

Holmes was a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Colorado. Prosecutors said Holmes did poorly on a key exam and withdrew on June 10 while he was stockpiling guns, ammunition and body armor ahead of the shooting.

Holmes had also applied at graduate neuroscience programs at Iowa, University of Illinois, Texas A&M, Kansas, Michigan and Alabama.

Holmes was accepted at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with an offer of free tuition and $22,000 a year. But Iowa rejected him with a “Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances” notation.

University of Alabama at Birmingham also rejected him with one professor noting that “he may be extremely smart, but difficult to engage.”


By P. SOLOMON BANDA | Associated Press

Colo. theater victim families question fundraising.

  • Thomas Teves, right, kisses his wife Caren Teves, center, at a press conference by families of victims of the Colorado theater shooting, in Aurora, Colo., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. Thomas and Caren Teves lost their son Alexander Teves, 24, in the shooting. Families of some of the 12 people killed in the Colorado theater shooting are upset with the way the millions of dollars raised since the tragedy are being distributed.   (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)Enlarge GalleryThomas Teves, right, kisses his wife Caren Teves, center, at a press conference by families of victims of the Colorado theater shooting, in Aurora, Colo., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. Thomas and Caren Teves lost …more 


AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Families of some of the 12 people killed in the Colorado theater shooting are upset with the way the millions of dollars raised since the tragedy are being distributed.

At an emotional news conference Tuesday in Aurora, group spokesman Tom Teves, whose son was killed, criticized fundraisers for not giving victims a voice in how the money is distributed, even though it was raised using the pictures and names of “our murdered loved ones.”

So far, just over $5 million has been raised and $450,000 distributed. Of that, $350,000 went to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance in order to provide $5,000 each going to the families of 70 victims to meet their immediate financial needs. The other $100,000 has gone to 10 nonprofit groups, according to the Community First Foundation website.

With victims and their families crowded on the platform behind him, Teves accused fundraising groups of being unresponsive and unsympathetic to victims’ needs and also questioned the commitment of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to helping the victims, noting that the governor had attended the funerals of those who died in the shooting.

“You pledged 12 times, ‘We will remember.’ Are you a man of your words? Or were they just words?”

Hickenlooper was not immediately available for comment.

Some dabbed their eyes as Teves spoke. One man was using a cane with a splint up to his knee.

Teves said anyone in the theater or in the suspect’s apartment building who was affected by the “coward’s acts” should be eligible to receive help.

The suspect in the July 20 shooting, 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes, is charged with murder and attempted murder and two other counts.

Only a handful of family members of the slain victims have spoken publicly, and most of their comments came in the first few days after the shooting.

A spokeswoman for the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, Kim Stuart said the group expects to identify who will lead the group in the near future and determine how the money will be spent.

Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of the Community First Foundation, charged by Hickenlooper to operate relief fund, told KUSA-TV that the nonprofit organization had problems contacting victims and the committee plans to add a representative of the victims’ families. She said police secrecy and a court order sealing documents hampered efforts to help the families.

“In this case, there were some challenges in communication because of the gag order,” Williams said.

She didn’t immediately return a telephone call.

Police said Holmes was heavily armed and wearing body armor and a gas mask when he opened fire on the audience in a packed theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora during a showing of the latest Batman movie.

In addition to the 12 killed, 58 were injured.

Holmes is being held without bail and has not entered a plea. Defense lawyers have said he is mentally ill.

Holmes was a first-year Ph.D. student in a neuroscience program at the University of Colorado, Denver. He told university officials about six weeks before the shootings that he was withdrawing.

Prosecutors have said Holmes failed an oral board exam June 7, at about the same time he began buying weapons and ammunition.

Prosecutors are seeking the university’s records on Holmes and also want to see a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to university psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. Fenton is expected to testify at a hearing Thursday.

Defense lawyers are fighting prosecution attempts to see the material.

Investigators, attorneys on both sides and the university have said little about the case outside court hearings, citing a gag order imposed by Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester.

Many court documents have been kept secret as well.


By DAN ELLIOTT | Associated Press

Colorado congressman: Movie theater shooting shows we need Obamacare.

Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter said during a Monday online town hall meeting that victims of the July 20 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.  “would be uninsurable” without President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

“[U]nder the Affordable Care Act they can’t be discriminated against starting in 2014.” reproduced video of Perlmutter telling his constituents that Obamacare would “stop the discrimination against people with prior illnesses or injuries — or, say, some of the folks who were shot in the theater.”

Perlmutter also called for a renewal of the federal government’s 1996 assault weapons ban in the wake of the shooting. James Holmes, a 24-year-old former graduate student, has been charged with 24 counts of murder.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, another Democrat, has been more measured in his response to the Aurora tragedy.

“I think the discussions of ‘do we need stricter laws’ should probably wait until the families have grieved,” Hickenlooper said July 23, “and at least until we bury the people who we lost.”


The Daily CallerThe Daily Caller 

The Spirit of God Hovers Over Aurora Darkness.

colorado shooting

Ginger Sanders couldn’t hold back her tears. Sharing stories from the first few days of ministry in Aurora, Colo., the seasoned Rapid Response Team Chaplain was overcome by emotion as she described how God was moving in this tragedy.

“His presence is here,” said Sanders through her sobs. “It’s almost similar to the description in Genesis 1:2 where ‘darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.’

“The Spirit of God is in Colorado, hovering over the darkness.”

After attending a memorial service at Gateway High School, Sanders said she and the other chaplains ministering in the grief-stricken area came back with a touch from the Lord. “This is very hard and very painful, yet He is showing His love in many ways, big and small.”

One example of that love came during the service. As Sanders stood toward the back of the crowd, a young lady approached her, leaned over and said, “I don’t know anyone here, I just needed to come.”

When Sanders turned around, the young lady—whose name is Shaya—smiled when she saw that she had just spoken to a Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplain. She then leaned forward, hugged Sanders and said, “I am a Columbine survivor and I just couldn’t stay home.”

Shaya had driven from Littleton, Colo., to be in Aurora for the family and friends of those who died.

“She understood how they feel because her best friend was killed at Columbine,” said Sanders, who prayed with the young woman and introduced her to the Gateway High School principal. “He said he would love to have Shaya come to speak when school starts, even if it just helps one person.”

On Sunday morning, Shaya spoke during the service at Aurora Calvary Chapel.

“The congregation was blessed and encouraged when she spoke of the love of Jesus and how a person could have hope through Him,” said Sanders. “She is a living example of someone who still is in the process of healing from tragedy, but able to live for and serve Christ.”

Sanders also ministered to one of the police officers who had to inform families that a loved one had died in the shooting. The man came right over when he saw Sanders and said, “I am a believer and this is the hardest day of my life. How could I even prepare for what I am doing? It’s only through God that I can do this.”

Even though the senseless tragedy has many asking “why,” Sanders and the other chaplains serving in Aurora see God’s hand: “Yes, He is here in the middle of the grief. He is in control. He is even reaching out to us.”

The morning of this interview, Sanders knew that God was close. After such an emotion-packed few days, she needed refreshment for her own soul. Settling down with steaming coffee and her Bible, Sanders opened to Psalm 18: 1-6 and found the words handwritten by the Lord:

I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Click here to read the original story at


By Janet Chismar/

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