Shocking! Colorado GOP Lawmaker: A ‘Good Thing’ Theater Gunman James Holmes had 100-Round Magazine (Video)
Colorado Republican state Senator Bernie Herpin made quite the gaffe during a hearing for legislation that would overturn the new ban on magazines of 15-rounds or more. Herpin and other Colorado Republicans are trying to overturn the ban imposed last year despite being outnumbered by Democrats in both the Colorado House and Senate.
Herpin tried to support his point by invoking the gun used by James Holmes, who killed 12 people and injured 70 when he opened fire in an Aurora movie theater back in July 2012. Here’s how the dialogue went:
Democratic state Senator Irene Aguilar: “My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally. So in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine. I was wondering if you agree with me.”
Herpin: “Perhaps, James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine. As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”
Our system failed us. Abjectly failed.
(CNN) — A psychiatrist, who treated suspected mass killer James Holmes, warned police a month before the Colorado theater shooting that Holmes had made homicidal statements and was a danger to the public, according to documents released this week.
It is unclear what was done with that information or if that warning could have helped stop the July 20 shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead and dozens injured.
Holmes, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, faces 166 charges, including murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses, tied to the rampage during a screening of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.”
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty and on Thursday released a batch of documents that revealed new details on the case including the warning from Holmes’ former psychiatrist.
As lawmakers across the country and in the nation’s capital debate possible restrictions on high-capacity magazines, one question emerges: Are these ammunition feeding devices, which allow a shooter to fire many times without reloading, in fact commonly used by mass killers? We examined the data from Mother Jones’ continuing investigation into mass shootings and found that high-capacity magazines have been used in at least 31 of the 62 cases we analyzed. A half-dozen of these crimes occurred in the last two years alone. (With some of the cases we studied, it remains unclear whether high capacity magazines were used; for more details, jump to our data set below.)
In the shooting that injured Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Jared Loughner emptied a 33-round magazine in 30 seconds, killing 6 and injuring 13. Inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, James Holmes used 40- and 100-round magazines to injure and kill an unprecedented 70 victims. At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Adam Lanza used high-capacity magazines to fire upwards of 150 bullets as he slaughtered 20 kids and 6 adults.
“It turns a killer into a killing machine,” says David Chipman, who served for 25 years as a special agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Outlawing high capacity magazines won’t prevent gun crimes from happening, Chipman notes, but might well reduce the carnage: “Maybe three kids get killed instead of 20.”
Interactive map at link above
Weapons: Of the 142 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and semiautomatic handguns. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to slaughter students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes, along with an AR-15 assault rifle, when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater. In Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza wielded two handguns and a .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic assault rifle as he massacred 20 school children and six adults.
The killers: Half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (12 and 19, respectively); the other 31 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases. Forty four of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) Explore the map for further details—we do not consider it to be all-inclusive, but based on the criteria we used to identify mass murders, we believe that we’ve produced the most comprehensive rundown available on this particular type of traumatic violence. (Mass murders represent only a sliver of America’s overall gun violence.) For a timeline listing all the cases on the map, including photos of the killers, jump to page 2.)
Defense lawyers say the man charged with the Colorado movie theater killings has an unspecified condition that will keep him from attending a court hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Court documents filed Wednesday didn’t give any details of James Holmes’ condition. The documents said only that Holmes’ condition “renders him unable to be present in court for (Thursday’s) hearing.”
The defense asked the judge to postpone the hearing, which was scheduled to discuss pretrial motions and media requests for information under state open records laws.
A judge will hold a hearing Wednesday to consider the request.
The 24-year-old Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 by opening fire in a crowded theater on July 20.
He’s being held without bail and hasn’t entered a plea.
The University of Iowa rejected the suspect in the Colorado movie theater shooting rampage from a graduate neuroscience program last year after he visited campus for an interview and left the program director bluntly warning colleagues: “Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances.”
James Holmes applied to the Iowa program in late 2010 and was given an interview on Jan. 28, 2011, according to records released by the university. Holmes wrote in his application that he was passionate about neuroscience and would bring “my strong moral upbringing” to the program. He painted himself as a bright student interested in improving himself and helping the world with a career in scientific research.
But two days after Holmes’ interview, neuroscience program director Daniel Tranel wrote a strongly worded email urging the admissions committee not to accept him to the school.
“James Holmes: Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances,” wrote Tranel, a professor of neurology.
Defense attorneys say the suspect in the Colorado movie theater shooting tried unsuccessfully to call a University of Colorado, Denver, psychiatrist nine minutes before the attack.
Defense attorney Tamara Brady said Thursday that James Holmes placed the call to an after-hours number at a hospital at the University of Colorado, Anschutz campus.
Brady says Holmes thought he reach psychiatrist Lynne Fenton at that number.
The detail came out during a hearing about Holmes’ relationship with Fenton, to whom he mailed a package containing a notebook that reportedly contained violent descriptions of an attack.
Holmes is accused in the July 20 shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
Earlier Thursday, Fenton said she never reported suspected gunman James Holmes as a “threat to harm,” although she did express concerns to campus police.
Fenton, director of the University of Colorado Denver’s mental health services, filled out a client report after meeting Holmes just once on June 11, five weeks before he allegedly opened fire at a midnight movie screening in Colorado.
When asked on the stand Thursday if she reported Holmes, who was studying neuroscience at the university’s medical campus, as a “threat to harm,” she said she did not.
Colorado prosecutors have formally charged a former doctorate student with 24 counts of murder in the shooting at an Aurora movie theater.
Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes appeared Monday and was also formally charged with 116 counts of attempted murder.
Twelve people were killed and 58 people were wounded or injured. The breakdown of the charges was not immediately clear.
He’s also charged with a one count of possession of explosives. Authorities say he booby trapped his apartment.
As attorneys for the suspect in a Colorado movie theater rampage fight to find the source of media leaks about his case, more details are emerging about the psychiatrist who documents show treated him for years.
Attorneys for 24-year-old James Holmes disclosed he was a “psychiatric patient” of Dr. Lynne Fenton in a court motion Friday, as they sought to discover the source of leaks to media outlets that he sent the psychiatrist a package containing a notebook with descriptions of an attack.
The revelation is the first indication that Holmes may have sought help before the rampage that killed 12 people and wounded 58.
Records show Fenton has faced some trouble in her career. She was disciplined by the Colorado Medical Board in 2004 for prescribing herself Xanax while her mother was dying, state records show. She also was disciplined for prescribing the sleep aid Ambien and the allergy medicine Claritin for her husband, and painkillers for an employee who suffered from chronic headaches.
The University of Colorado’s website identified Fenton as the medical director of the school’s Student Mental Health Services. An online resume stated that she sees 10 to 15 graduate students a week for medication and psychotherapy, as well as 5 to 10 patients in her general practice as a psychiatrist. Schizophrenia was listed as one of her research interests.
Fenton worked for the U.S. Air Force in Texas as an acupuncturist before joining the University of Colorado in 2005.
A 1998 Denver Post article quotes a Colorado acupuncturist named Lynne Fenton discussing how acupuncture could be used to enhance women’s busts.
A medical ethicist who is also a lawyer disputed an assertion of privilege made Friday by a lawyer for the suspect in last week’s mass shooting inside a Colorado movie theater over the contents of a package he allegedly sent to his psychiatrist.
The key factor is whether she has information about the alleged crime, said Prof. Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
“Once there has been a crime, I believe, she has a duty to notify that she has information about that crime,” said Prof. Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said Caplan.
Police can subpoena the record, he said, “and they would certainly get it.”
James Holmes was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack in Aurora, Colorado, which killed 12 people and wounded scores more, according to a court document filed Friday by his lawyers.
The disclosure was in a request by Holmes for authorities to hand over a package he sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton at the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
Who is Dr. Lynne Fenton?
According to Holmes’ request, the package seized by authorities under a July 23 search warrant was a protected communication.
“The materials contained in that package include communications from Mr. Holmes to Dr. Fenton that Mr. Holmes asserts are privileged,” said the document filed by public defenders representing Holmes. “Mr. Holmes was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton, and his communications with her are protected.”