Article by Victoria Yancy
Twenty-four-year old James Eagan Holmes born December 13, 1987 was arrested on Friday, July 20, 2012 in the Aurora section of Denver, Colorado for the alleged shooting massacre of Batman premier moviegoers. CNN reports that Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until last month. He was a PhD candidate of neurosciences. It is not known why he withdrew from the University. According to Good Morning America and CNN, Holmes is suspected of the mass murder of up to 12 people, including a three month old baby. Ten of those victims died in the movie theatre. Up to 59 individuals were wounded and taken to hospitals some may have been wounded from shrapnel, at least nine in critical condition. Holmes was arrested in the back of the theatre according to CNN.
Who is James Holmes? Was he a child bully or a victim of bullying? During his speech in Florida this morning President Obama states “Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason,” he said. “But while we never fully know what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.” He goes on to say, “What matters, at the end of the day, are not the small things, the trivial things that so often consume us in our daily lives. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another, how we love one another” (The Atlantic, 2012).
This seemed to be a planned attack by Holmes according to ABC news he knew the theatre would be full and he coordinated his attack with what was happening on the movie screen, setting off gunfire the same time gun fire occurred in the movie. According to CNN, Holmes propped the emergency doors open before the attack then kicked open the emergency doors of Theatre 9 of the Century 16 Movie Theatres after the movie began. ABC news reports, the massacre occurred during the premier of the midnight showing of the Batman series, The Dark Night Rising. Dressed in black in a bullet proof vest, riot helmet and carrying a gas mask, Holmes was armed for battle according to witnesses. He filled the room with tear gas causing a diversion then sprayed the theatre with bullets. Upon his arrest he told the police that he had explosives in his apartment and car. CNN coverage according to Aurora police reveals that Holmes’ apartment is booby-trapped and the area has been evacuated.
Can Holmes be considered a bully? According to Dr. Susan Lipkins, “I define bullying as: an intentional act of aggression, based on an imbalance of power that is meant to harm a victim either physically or psychologically.” Was Holmes bullied as a child, as of yet we do not know. However, we do know according to Radaronline, Holmes describes himself as quiet and easygoing. However, his neighbors describe him as a reclusive loner. In addition, according to ABC news, a San Diego, California woman identifying herself as his mother, Arlene stated, “You have the right person,” she said. “I need to call the police,” she added. “I need to fly out to Colorado.” President Obama explains that what occurred today is a National Tragedy and that today is a day for prayer and reflection. Flags are being lowered to half-mast.