Tags: Aurora shootings, Aurora theater shootings, Batman, Batman movie, Batman shootings, Colorado theater shooting, columbine, Dark Knight Rises, James Holmes
I wonder if Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes saw himself as some sort of a twisted superhero avenging perceived wrongs.
Dressed in black bulletproof clothing from head to toe, he allegedly entered the Century 16 multiplex with at least three guns at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the latest Batman sequel.
Did he see himself as Batman?
The truth is, who knows at this point? We still know very little about him.
But as the author of Columbine: A True Crime Story, I can make an educated guess early on that Holmes, 24, was trying to extract some sort of revenge. Maybe he was mad at certain people and/or that all-consuming boogeyman “society” for not giving him enough status. Possibly angry at some perceived wrong. This would be similar to the Columbine shooters, and similar to other shootings in the South and West of the United States where people feel compelled to take the law into their own hands.
It would seem that Holmes did not know the 12 he killed and 58 he wounded at the Century 16 multiplex. In that sense, his actions may be seen as lashing out as the world.
Of course, there may be other issues. Was it mental illness? Was Holmes trying to emulate the Columbine killers? I feel we have the same lack of information we had about the 1999 Columbine shooters, at least in the early stages. That is what launched me on 10 years of book research.
I have been on the ground covering the shootings. And whatever similarities there may end up being between Columbine and the Aurora shooters, we are again seeing a massive investigation, widespread grieving, and a search for answers.