Jessica Ghawi wanted to be a sports journalist and blogged under the of name of Jessica Redfield. One of her recent blogs was about the senseless killng in Toronto's Eaton Centre mall, she died in the one in Aurora's Cinema 16.
There is much grief in America again today, grief caused by a lone gunman’s rampage shooting at a cinema filled with moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado who went to enjoy a midnight showing of the latest Batman film.
"This morning we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways we are united as one American family," President Obama stated.
"There are going to be other days for politics. This is a day for prayer and reflection,” President Obama said as he announced the suspension of campaign efforts in light of the tragedy in Colorado. President Obama curtailed his planned speech in Florida to speak about this latest mass shooting. Mitt Romney announced his intention to pull campaign ads from the entire Colorado viewing area today. This event stands as a reminder that a candidate's response to unexpected events of either a foreign or domestic origin can affect their electability.
The 24 year-old suspect in the Aurora cinema shootings, James Holmes, was until recently a medical student in the neurosciences program at the University of Colorado. As of this writing 12 people are known dead and there as many as fifty-nine other casualties. Ten vicitms were killed at the cinema and two others died later in hospital of their wounds. Law enforcement officials say the weapons used in the massacre include a military-style 100 round clip AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns. Holmes fired more than 70 rounds into moviegoers at the crowded cinema during the shooting rampage.
In the last 60 days Holmes had purchased four guns at local gun shops, and through the Internet Holmes bought over 6,000 rounds of ammunition. To date, the available evidence suggests that all the weapons were legal.
The suspect, had also been stockpiling magazines to carry the gun ammunition. One clip recovered at the scene could hold 100 rounds for the AR-15 military-style assault rifle.
The suspect in this shooting James E Holmes of North Aurora, who was arrested at the back of the cinema with three weapons; a handgun, a shotgun and an assault rifle. The black outfitted Holmes was wearing a riot helmet, a gas mask and a bulletproof vest. He told police he was in possession of homemade explosives, and that there were other explosives at his apartment in North Aurora.
James Holmes fits the profile of others who have engaged in mass rampage killings of whom 95% are male and exhibit signs of very low self esteem. The mass shooter resents the fact that people have turned against them and their only escape from the deep sense of not belonging is in their own thoughts, and they develop fantasies often reenactments of violent movie scenes of guns and mass shootings. They feel a sense of power in possessing guns and begin to fantasize about shooting the very people who rejected them, but since they feel everyone rejects them, it does not matter who they shoot actually.
The danger comes when something triggers a complete break, often only temporary, with reality and the mass shooter slips into the fantasy world they have created for themselves, the world in which they feel powerful and respected.
Once the actual shootings begin, a rampage killer feels power in the first kill, which propels them to kill again and again. The rage which triggered the shootings diminishes gradually with each shot fired. Therefore, the number of shots fired is a factor of the extent of the rage, and is limited only by the people within range and the guns and the amount of ammunition the shooter brings to the stage. Unless, of course, they meet resistance and are taken out or taken down.
When the rage subsides the shooter(s) can see the carnage they caused, and now having expended their ammunition and their rage and having not considered an ending they sink into a world of utter desolation. Most mass shooters take their own life, while others walk calmly up to the authorities and surrender without further violence.
In a related incident police were called to the apartment complex where Holmes lived at 12:30 [while he was firing into the moviegoer crowd] in response to a 911 complaint about very loud music coming from Holmes’ third floor apartment. The police found the Holmes’s apartment filled with rather complex booby traps, and explosives. The building and several others close by were evacuated after 2am as police began a very careful examination of the Holmes apartment.
FBI agents were called to the scene because of the suspect explosive devices and began taking photos trough the windows of the upper level apartment using a fire engine’s ladder to determine the nature of the devices. This process could take days to unravel according to a statement issued by Police Chief Dan Oates to the Denver Post, bomb technicians are determining how to disarm flammable or explosive material they discovered in the third-floor apartment.
FBI agents and police used a hook and ladder fire truck and put a camera at the end of a 12-foot pole inside the apartment where Holmes lived, pictures from inside the apartment were fairly disturbing and the devices they observed looked to be sophisticated, the police chief stated.
The apartment is about four miles from the theater where the cinema shooting rampage took place.
The director of the Batman movie, speaking on behalf of the actors and crew, stated that a premiere of the movie planned in Paris the next day had been cancelled.
Holmes is from San Diego where his parents still live. The 24 year-old student had been in the complex for more than a year; records show that he moved into the apartment in May 2011. Holmes attended the University of California Riverside but left there and moved to Aurora located on the east side of Denver and is Colorado's third-largest city. Holmes enrolled in the University of Colorado as a graduate student in their neurosciences program in June 2011.
There is nothing known about the motives of the 24-year-old accused of the movie theater shooting rampage, but several residents who had seen Holmes from time to time in and about the apartment complex report that Holmes was highly reclusive: "No one knew him. No one," said one student who lives in the building. Holmes ignored everyone who greeted him, said another tenant.
Those who knew James Holmes have helped police and other investigators piece together a record of his recent life which indicates a distinct break with reality. Holmes had painted his hair red and identifed himself as 'the jocker' a character from the Batman series when he was apprehended in the parking lot of the cinema after the killings.
One of the victims identified in the shooting rampage is Jessica Ghawi, who was aspiring to become a sports journalist.
In a twist of fate, Jessica had recently written about another senseless killing spree, according to People magazine, Jessica wrote of being in Toronto's Eaton Centre mall just moments before a fatal shooting there. "I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday," she wrote at the time on her blog, using her social media name of Jessica Redfield.
One person was killed and six others wounded in a shooting in the Eaton Centre food court on Saturday, June 2, 2012 in Toronto, Jessica arrived at the mall just before the shooting spree began.
"I saw the terror on bystanders' faces," Jessica wrote. "I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end."
The cinema rampage is the worst mass shooting in Colorado in the past thriteen years, since the Columbine High School massacre on 20 April 1999. In that incident Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at a school in the Denver suburb of Littleton, some 15 miles west of Aurora, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before they killed themselves in the Columbine High School's library.
We know who, what, when, and where this tragedy happened, but unraveling the why will take considerably more time.
Although highly speculative at this time, based largely on photographs which have not been confimed to be Holmes, there is a story emerging that may define Holmes as a lone wolf. A lone wolf is someone who commits violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but does so alone, outside of any command structure, or knowledge on the part of any group or movement that the individual is acting because of their belief in that group or movement.
This photo of an arrest at an Occupy Movement demonstration has not been confirmed to be that of James Holmes, even if confirmed it does not without further evidence relate to his actions at the Aurora Cinema.
FBI agents carefully examine Holmes's apartment in North Aurora where sophisticated explosive devices were discovered