Constitutional Law

4 Guns Found After Colo. Movie Theater Shooting Rampage That Left 12 Dead Were Legally Purchased

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Amidst the turmoil over a Colorado movie theater shooting early today that left at least 12 people dead and more than 50 injured at last report, unidentified law enforcement authorities are telling the Washington Post that four firearms recovered after the killing spree were all legally purchased in recent months.

Found in the Aurora theater were a Smith and Wesson AR-15 Type assault weapon, a Glock pistol and a Remington shotgun, the newspaper reported in an entry this afternoon on a live blog about the shooting. Another Glock pistol was found in the suspected shooter’s car, parked near a door.

The shooter, who was wearing a gas mask and body armor as he set off chemical sprays during a midnight showing of new Batman movie at the theater, has been identified by authorities as James Holmes, a 24-year-old neuroscience graduate student with no previous criminal history, according to the Nation Now blog of the Los Angeles Times.

Another item in the Washington Post’s live blog on the shooting notes that the AMC movie theater chain has issued a new policy after the shooting banning masks, as well as any costumes that could make other patrons uncomfortable. A number of Aurora movie theater patrons were reportedly wearing masks and costumes in honor of the event.

A Los Angeles Times post on the newspaper’s L.A. Now blog gives more background about Holmes. Among a number of stunned individuals who knew the suspect, and are quoted as saying he gave no indication of any potential violence, is a Columbia Law School student, Keith Goodwin, 24.

He had some conversations with Holmes when the two were taking a high school advanced placement course together, and described him as a “generally pleasant guy” and, Goodwin said, “certainly not someone I would have ever imagined shooting somebody.”

Additional coverage:

People Magazine: “James Holmes Called Himself ‘The Joker’ after Batman Movie Massacre”

Telegraph: “Batman cinema shooting: James Holmes ‘told police he was The Joker’”

Updated at 4:11 p.m. to link to additional coverage.

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