Update: There are new facts about the shooter that make it sound like he could be following Breivik’s example. These details are chilling. At around midnight, his neighbors heard some very loud techno music coming from his apartment. One of the downstairs neighbors went up to ask him to turn it down. Here’s what happened:
Kaitlyn Fonzi, a 20-year-old biology student at University of Colorado Denver, lives in an apartment below Holmes.
Around midnight, Fonzi said she heard techno music blasting from Holmes apartment. She went upstairs and knocked on the door. When no one answered, she put her hand on the door knob and realized the door was unlocked.
Fonzi decided not to go inside the apartment.
The music turned off at almost exactly 1 a.m., Fonzi said.
Kaitlyn had a narrow escape last night because if she had entered that apartment, she would have been blown up. The apartment is booby trapped. The booby trap is so complicated that the police haven’t figured out how to disarm it yet.
In Breivik’s case, he preceded his shooting spree on the island by blowing up some government buildings in Oslo first. Then, while the police were dealing with that, he went on to part two of his massacre at the teen retreat on Utoya.
James Holmes had a similar plan, Play really loud music, lure the neighbor up to the apartment, leave the door ajar so the neighbor could trip the mechanism and blow up the building. I have no idea what he used as explosives but science labs are full of all kinds of stuff and if you’re motivated enough, you can make your own.
While the police were supposed to be distracted by the explosion, he goes on a rampage in a crowded movie theater that people couldn’t get out of easily. It sounds like it was stadium seating which would had made it like one of those carnival shooting games with the tiers of ducks. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about this theater.
One other thing of interest: He started graduate school in June 2011 and it sounds like he was going through some kind of personality problem in his early 20s. He was an honors student, Phi Beta Kappa, had a masters in neuroscience and couldn’t find a job. Holmes is by all accounts very intelligent but he was failing his comprehensive exams in the last year.
It may all be coincidence but the way both Breivik and Holmes carried out their massacres seem eerily similar and the timing is too convenient being only 2 days before the one year anniversary of Breivik’s massacre.
The similarities are striking. Guy dressed in a uniform, in this case camo, calmly walks into a closed area that is difficult to escape and opens fire on innocent young adults and children. The death toll might be low at this point but the number of injured, 59, is unreal.
The shooter has multiple weapons. He’s well prepared to take out as many people as he can. He’s cool and methodical. Afterwards, he waits for police and does not resist arrest.
And it all takes place two days short of the one year anniversary when Andrew Brevik did the same thing at a teen retreat on a tiny island in Norway.
I’m not typically the kind of person who freaks out about how we’re all going to die, but if one troubled person in a land full of guns gets the notion that this action will somehow prove something to the world, maybe it would be a good idea for theaters, summer camps and amusement parks to be extra vigilant this week end.
I’d love to be proven wrong, silly and crazy for even suggesting this, but you know, we live in interesting times.