What triggered James Holmes to go on a killing spree in a movie theater in Colorado?

Today I woke up much earlier than normal thanks to the tragic news of the shooting spree that took place very early this morning in a movie theater in Denver, the city where I live. Since my husband and I are journalists, calls began to come in very early and because he's a cameraman he was quickly sent to the scene of the massacre. Like many others, I've been glued to the TV and social media since I learned of the killings trying to make some kind of sense of this tragedy.


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So far we the only thing we know is that police have arrested a suspect, James Holmes, in the parking lot behind the movie theater. Little is known about Holmes, except that he's a 24-year-old white man who moved from California to Colorado a year ago and was working on a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado. The police also announced that his apartment is booby-trapped and so they've evacuated all residents of his building and the ones nearby.

According to police, Holmes has no criminal record and apparently those who knew him say he was quiet and kept to himself. In addition, his mother in San Diego told ABC News that police had 'the right person'. Why did she say something like that? Does she you know something that might explain why his son decided to go to the Aurora theater to kill and injure as many people as he could?

I know I'm speculating, but I have to assume that Holmes is an extremely intelligent person if he was getting a doctorate in neuroscience, but he's obviously a very sick person also, full of rage and hatred. According to most recent statements from the police, Holmes came prepared for a showdown since besides the three weapons he was carrying he was protected with body armor from head to toe. Yet, when police found him, he practically surrendered without a fight.

While we all want to know what caused this young man to plan such a heinous crime, the truth is that what's done is done and there is no turning back. Now the only thing left for us to do is to pray that the 59 injured victims recover and that the relatives of those who were killed are able to find some kind of solace. And that we, the residents of the state of Colorado, site of the Columbine massacre 13 years ago, are able to overcome yet another tragedy of this magnitude.

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Finally, this horrific tragedy reminds us, once again, why we should not to take our families for granted. The first thing I did when my children woke up this morning was hug and kiss them a lot longer and tighter than usual. I told them how much I love them, and then, I thanked God they're safe and sound. 

What do you think triggered James Holmes to go on a killing spree in a movie theater in Colorado? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below.

Image via University of Colorado Denver

Topics: colorado  crime  tragedy