Dark Knight Rises Shooting: Police Identify Suspect, Paris Premiere Canceled

James Holmes, 24, is accused of gunning down 12 people and injuring 59 at a screening of the film in Aurora, Colo.

By Alexis L. Loinaz Jul 20, 2012 4:25 PMTags
Batman Theatre Shooting Suspect Mr. James HolmesSplash

Federal authorities have identified the gunman who opened fire at a Colorado screening of The Dark Knight Rises as 24-year old James Holmes, NBC News has confirmed.

Twelve people have been reported dead and at least 59 were injured after Holmes allegedly stormed a midnight screening of the film at a mall in the Denver suburb of Aurora, set off a smoke bomb, and went on a shooting rampage.

Earlier reports state that the gunman had been wearing a bulletproof vest and carried a rifle, handgun and knife. Another gun was reportedly recovered at the theater.

Ten were killed at the scene, and the rest died at local hospitals, according to local police.

Meanwhile, police have evacuated buildings surrounding Holmes' Denver-area apartment after determining that it was booby-trapped. According to reports, bomb technicians have been dispatched in order to disarm explosive materials found in Holmes third-floor apartment, which is about four miles from where the shootings occurred.

E! News has also confirmed with the Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator that Holmes is scheduled to appear in an Arapahoe County courtroom on Monday in Centennial, Colo., where the district attorney is expected to bring the charges against him. No time has been scheduled for the court hearing.

Earlier in the day, a San Diego woman who identified herself as Holmes' mother spoke with ABC News and said that she was not aware of the shootings and had yet to be contacted by police.

"You have the right person," she reportedly said, concerned about her son's alleged involvement. "I need to call the police," she added. "I need to fly out to Colorado.

The tragedy has boosted heightened security at screenings of the movie.

In New York, the NYPD plans to beef up security measures at local theaters, and per The Hollywood Reporter, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement that the reinforced efforts are "a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado."

Los Angeles police have also bolstered their security efforts. NBC News confirms that officers checked several L.A. theaters Friday morning for any safety issues or suspicious activity.

"While the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., appears to be an isolated incident, our vigilance has been raised," Captain Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. "The heightened alert includes increased patrols to create a more visible presence at movie theaters and other places where people congregate."

Meanwhile, Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, is scrambling in the wake of the tragedy and has canceled the film's Paris premiere.

The premiere was set to have taken place Friday night and include director Christopher Nolan as well as stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman.

The studio has also reportedly canceled all media interviews and promotional appearances with the cast as the film heads into its highly anticipated opening weekend.

(Originally published on July 20, 2012 at 7:24 a.m. PT)