Report: Suspect described killings in package

The University of Colorado Denver said Wednesday that the U.S. Postal Service delivered the package Monday, and it was immediately investigated and turned over to authorities within hours.

DENVER| As reports emerged of a suspicious package sent to a university the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting once attended, the first memorial service was held for a victim of the massacre.

Workers with Belfor Property Restoration work to board up a window in the apartment of suspected Aurora movie theater gunman James Holmes, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, as residents were allowed back in the building, which had been closed off by police due to the continuing investigation of the shooting. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The University of Colorado Denver said Wednesday that the U.S. Postal Service delivered the package Monday, and it was immediately investigated and turned over to authorities within hours.

It wouldn’t confirm its contents or whether it was sent by former neuroscience graduate student James Holmes. However multiple media outlets, citing unnamed sources, reported Holmes sent a notebook with drawings and descriptions of an attack.

Fox News’ website was among those reporting the notebook was in a package addressed to a psychiatrist at the school. It was unclear if Holmes, 24, had had any previous contact with the person. The neuroscience program that he withdrew from on June 10 included professors of psychiatry.

Holmes is accused of opening fire on a theater showing the new Batman movie, killing 12 people and injuring 58. He is due to hear the charges against him at a court hearing scheduled Monday.

NBC News, citing unnamed sources, reported that Holmes told investigators to look for the package and that it described killing people.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies refused to confirm the reports to The Associated Press.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman David Rupert said the agency’s inspectors have no direct knowledge of the package in question. He said no one has contacted the Postal Service for assistance in the investigation.

Before a judge issued a gag order in the case, police said Holmes received more than 50 packages at the school and his home that apparently contained ammunition, combat gear and explosive materials that he used in the attack and to booby-trap his Aurora apartment.

The apartment building was evacuated for days while authorities rendered it safe and collected evidence. Residents were allowed to return Wednesday.

Holmes’ defense team also briefly visited the building Wednesday and left without answering reporters’ questions.

Holmes, who grew up in California, was allegedly stockpiling for the attack while he studied at the school’s neuroscience program. He bought a shotgun and pistol in May, authorities say. On June 7, the date he took a year-end oral exam, he bought an assault rifle. He filed paperwork to leave the program three days later and did not provide a reason, the university has said.

Meanwhile, 51-year-old Gordon Cowden was honored Wednesday at the first memorial service for a slain victim.

About 150 mourners including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper gathered on Wednesday the father who had gone to see “The Dark Knight Rises” with his teenage children. His children were unharmed.

Cowden lived in Aurora, the Denver suburb where the theater is located. A family statement described him as a “true Texas gentleman” who 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.

Cowden’s memorial was also attended by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates.

Later this week, families of other victims planned to say their final goodbyes.

Funerals were planned in towns from San Antonio, home of aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi, to Crystal Lake, Ill., hometown of Navy intelligence officer John Thomas Larimer.

Pierce O’Farrill, who survived being shot three times in the attack, told The Denver Post he has forgiven the gunman and feels sorrow for him.

“I want to see him sometime. The first thing I want to say to him is ‘I forgive you,’ and the next is, ‘Can I pray for you?'” he told the newspaper.


AP writer Colleen Slevin contributed to this story from Denver.

  • Christinyou7

    “…citing unnamed sources, reported Holmes sent a notebook with
    drawings and descriptions of an attack.”

    The spin continues to develop. Citing “unnamed sources” is a good indicator that something is amiss. Remember that the initial news stories included police and witness reports revealing at least 2 suspects and possibly more.

    When information flows through the media from “unnamed sources,” lets be
    aware of the possibility that it is designed to twist things, and make
    us think a certain way.

    Why are “unnamed sources” sending information to the media? Why did the Post Office send the package to the University? Shouldn’t it read that someone else sent the package to the University through USPS?

    While we mourn for the loss of lives, it is of great importance to
    insist that justice includes following the real leads and applying the
    information toward getting to the bottom of the whole picture about what
    really happened.

    It appears they are attempting to combine the information and
    descriptions involving 2 or 3 different suspects into one suspect. They seem to be twisting the witness reports and data to fit a preconceived conclusion.

    Based on the available information, the witnesses described the shooter as controlled and methodical while targeting and shooting. The shooter demonstrated an extremely high accuracy level by killing over 50 out of over 70 unarmed people. Applying common sense and simple logic, a person with no history of small arms training would be unable to methodically get such a high accuracy level even if he were shooting at inanimate targets in training.

    It would be nearly impossible for him to do the same against living people of all ages in such a methodical and professional manner while looking through gas mask goggles and in a smoke filled dark room. Furthermore, it would be even more difficult while the people are moving around trying to escape.

    Logically thinking, this would require extensive mental reprogramming and weapons training.

    Notice that the Aurora shooting occurred shortly before the U.S. Senate
    was set to vote on a Resolution to participate in the United Nations
    Small Arms Treaty.

    If this theory is true, then who had the motive, access and ability to pull off this kind of operation.  Was it implemented with the hopes of influencing our Senate to vote for support of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty?

    Most of us do not have access to the same information and data as the investigators. But we can pay close attention to the information that is flowing through the national media, and notice the huge gaps and conflicts.

    It’s so important to understand that the jailed suspect may really be innocent.

    • Christinyou7

      Please allow me to make a correction and clarify something from my above comment.

      1. I deeply apologize for misstating the number of fatalities. It should read 12 people with 58 wounded.

      2. Below will explain in more detail my reference to 2 or 3 suspects. I understand how that might sound a bit strange.

      By applying the initial news reports and photos we can learn that:

      1. A man with a cell phone was seen sitting in a seat close to the screen. He answered his cell phone and walked toward the emergency exit. He was seen by another witness talking on the cell phone while standing near the exit (do not recall the stories).

      2. According to the New York Times story “Gunman Kills 12 in Colorado, Reviving Gun Debate” by Dan Frosch and Kirk Johnson (7-20-2012), the shooter entered the theater fully covered in black ballistic gear from head to toe. Another story revealed that a witness saw the shooter enter “only minutes” after seeing the cell phone man talking on his phone while standing near the exit.

      All witnesses agreed that it seemed to be a stunt to accompany the scene on the screen. I have not seen witness accounts describing what the cell phone man looked like.

      3. “Only minutes” after the shooting, the police arrested a man who was standing by a white Hyundai. I have not seen any police statements describing this man.

      4. According to a photo of the scene, bloody shoe prints indicate that someone walked or ran from the emergency exit in a direction perpendicular to the position of the Hyundai. The prints leave the photo frame on the right side. (see photo accompanying above New York Times story).

      5. The same photo reveals what appears to be pink slippers or flip-flops and something yellow in color near the emergency exit.

      6. According to Denver Post story, Aurora shooting suspect left apartment “booby trapped,” music blaring by Sarah Burnett and Jessica Fender (7-20-2012), “A resident of the building who didn’t want
      to give his name said he answered his door to see police with rifles.
      An officer asked if he had seen a white guy with crazy hair, possibly
      dyed unnatural colors, the man said. It was unclear if the officer was
      referring to Holmes.”

      By applying the above information, the police would have been searching for a suspect with colored hair during a time after the other suspect was arrested behind the theater. Within a few days, all the news reports referred to Holmes (with colored hair) as:

      A) the man arrested behind the theater while standing by a car,
      B) the shooter (who may have left the bloody shoe prints?), and
      C) the man who booby-trapped his apartment.

      Interestingly, the recent news reports make no mention of the police looking for a suspect with colored hair LATER AFTER another suspect was arrested behind the theater.

      If Holmes was the suspect with colored hair, then where did the police find him? How was he arrested? What condition was he in? Who was the suspect arrested behind the theater? What did that person look like? Where is that person now? Who was the suspect that left bloody shoe prints? Where is that person? Where do the shoe prints stop?

      Maybe the Defense Team can look at the police reports to compare the arrest of the suspect behind the theater with the arrest of the suspect with colored hair in the area of his apartment.

  • Everyonewhocares

    Where is the CCTV footage from the theatre?  Why has nobody said anything about this?  What about the gas mask found at the corner of the theatre about 25 car spaces from where James Holmes was found?