Colorado Shooting Suspect Bought Rifle Hours After Failing Exam [VIDEO]
Hours after failing an important oral exam at the University of Colorado, Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes bought a high powered rifle.
Denver TV station KMGH ABC News says that 3 days after the exam, Holmes decided to drop out of school, offering no explanation. Experts say it is possible that Holmes had an underlying mental illness that was triggered by the stress of failure.
Governor Christie has ordered flags in New Jersey to fly at half-staff today in memory of the shooting victims. In his executive order he gives special mention to Alex Tevis, who lived in Verona until he was 13 before moving to Phoenix. Teves is being a called a hero for protecting his girlfriend Amanda when the shooting began. He also mentioned Jacci Fry, a former resident of Byram who was injured in the leg & face by shrapnel during the shooting.
The first funeral of a shooting victim is today. Gordon Cowden, the oldest of those killed, will be buried today. He lived in Aurora, but was described as a "true Texas gentleman" in a family statement. He loved the outdoors and owned his own business.
"A quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle," his family said.
His teenage children escaped the shooting unharmed.
FULL COVERAGE: Colorado Theater Shooting
INCREASE IN COLORADO GUN SALES
More firearms are being sold in the wake of the Colorado movie theater massacre. From last Friday to Sunday, Colorado approved 25 percent more background checks for people wanting to buy guns than the average weekend this year. Gun dealers say many people fear that anti-gun politicians may use the shootings to push for tighter restrictions on owning weapons.
The shooting has revived the debate over gun control across the country. On Townsquare Media’s Ask The Governor Program, Governor Chris Christie said, “I like to keep a respectful distance on these things early – I don’t want to seem like a politician who is trying to capitalize on tragedy – and I think we have too many of those.”
A few days ago Jersey U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg – the sponsor of legislation to close gun-buying loopholes – called for a review of current gun laws.
On Ask The Governor Christie said ” it’s not just Senator Lautenberg who’s done this, but there have been others – lets leave a bit of a respectful distance between these people being murdered in the movie theater to try to make a political issue of it – I just think its wrong…I’m with the President and Governor Romney on this – I don’t think we should be talking about it now.”
A VISIT FROM CHRISTIAN BALE
Batman star Christian Bale visited survivors of the Colorado theater shooting Tuesday, and thanked medical staff and police officers who responded to the attack that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.
Bale visited with little advance warning and also stopped by a makeshift memorial to victims near the movie theater that was showing "The Dark Knight Rises" when the gunfire erupted.
Carey Rottman, one of those injured in Friday's shooting, posted two photos of himself with Bale on his Facebook page.
Janie Bowman-Hayes, assistant vice president of surgical services at sister hospital Swedish Medical Center, said she and co-workers were attending a luncheon at The Medical Center of Aurora to thank staff who tended to victims. "When we got there, then we found out he was there," she said.
Bale also stopped by a growing memorial near the theater and walked among the 12 crosses erected for each of the slain victims. Many people there didn't realize who he was or chose to leave him alone.
A Warner Bros. spokeswoman told The Denver Post that Bale was representing himself, not the movie studio.
FATE OF THE CENTURY 16
Debate is growing in Denver over what should happen to the Century 16 movie theater, scene of the shooting at the Town Center at Aurora. People are divided over whether the theater should stay open or close and be turned into a memorial. “I know people say, 'You need to get back on the horse and start over again.' But it would just be very difficult," Rosemary Synovic told KMGH. "I think they should tear the theater down and build a memorial.”
"I feel like that particular theater itself, Theater 9, should not be reopened," said Kandra Lujan. "Even (for) the people that made it out alive, it’s traumatic for everybody." The theater is still closed but police are expected to be through with it on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.