AURORA, Co. — As people around the country try to make sense of Friday's tragedy, many people are asking who capable of such a crime.
More details are being released about the man police say was behind the attack, James Holmes. The suspect had been living not far from this movie theater for the past year because it was also close to the University of Colorado medical school where he was a graduate student in Neuroscience.
According to the school, Holmes was, "in the process of withdrawing" as a student in June. The school would not release much information about grades, the classes he took, or anything else. It is evident Holmes gave a student lecture this past March on a topic called "micro-RNA biomarkers."
The subject is about an emerging area of neuroscience; the study of nerves that relates to cancer research. The school said Holmes worked in a paid position there as well. Before that, Holmes worked in a middle, upper-class upbringing in a California high school in San Diego.
He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of California in Riverside in 2010. School administrators said he had an outstanding academic record.
"He was an honors student, so academically he was at the top of the top. He really distinguished himself from an academic point of view in the four years with us graduating with the highest honors," said Chancellor of UC Riverside Timothy White.
Now authorities start to piece together information to attempt to figure out how an honor student, Ph.d. candidate, budding neuroscientist becomes a completely different person, dressed and according to police, armed to kill.
"The suspect was dressed all in black, he was wearing a ballistic helmet, a tactical ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector and a groin protector and a gas mask and black tactical gloves," said Chief Dan Oates of the Aurora Police Department.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly released what he learned of the suspect that may have a tie to the actual movie.
"We have some information, I believe most of it public; clearly he looks like a deranged individual. He had his hair painted red, he said he was 'the joker.',” said Kelly.
Meanwhile, officials have started notifying the families of people killed in the shooting rampage.