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I'm the Joker, 'Batman' shooting suspect tells police

Last updated on: July 21, 2012 11:32 IST

Image: James Holmes, 24, is seen in this undated handout picture released by The University of Colorado July 20. Holmes is the suspect in a shooting attack which killed 12 people at a midnight premiere of the new Batman movie in a suburb of Denver early on Friday
Photographs: Reuters

As authorities investigate the rampant shooting incident at a movie hall during a showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises in Denver, Colorado, psychologists have said that James Holmes, one of the two masked gunmen, who stalked the aisles at the theatre with a rifle, may be delusional.

Experts have said that it's hard to know what Holmes's state of mind might have been before his alleged rampage, but emerging details seem suggest that the 24 yr-old was a deeply disturbed individual.

"He said he was the Joker," one law enforcement official told ABC News, referring to a villain from the Batman series. Another police official claimed that the suspect had dyed his hair red to resemble the character.


I'm the Joker, 'Batman' shooting suspect tells police

Image: A poster for the Warner Bros film 'The Dark Knight Rises; is displayed at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters

Witnesses said a shooter, dressed in a riot helmet, bulletproof vest and a gas mask, and carrying a rifle and a handgun, entered the movie theatre about 20 or 30 minutes into the film.

The gunman reportedly set off a smoke bomb, and then began methodically stalking the aisles, shooting patrons at random as some tried to flee.

Tags: Joker , Batman

I'm the Joker, 'Batman' shooting suspect tells police

Image: The Century 16 Theater in Aurora Colorado is pictured following an overnight shooting that killed 12 people at a midnight premiere 'The Dark Knight Rises' in in a suburb of Denver
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters

According to the report, Holmes was a PhD student in the neuroscience department of the University of Colorado at Denver. In a statement, the university said Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the program after enrolling in June 2011.

Psychologists claimed that Holmes was likely living in a world of alternate reality, suffering from delusions of threats and making plans to make right things that he perceived were wrong.

I'm the Joker, 'Batman' shooting suspect tells police

Image: People grieve during a vigil for victims behind the Century 16 Theatre
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters

"This is not a person that gets in bar fights and hurts other people. They're more likely to make statements about how they're going to get people. Those people are going to see they'll know who he is, and they'll be sorry," Dr. Stevan Hobfoll, a professor of behavioural sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, was reported as saying.

Another expert, Dr Felipe Amunategui, who is an associate training director for child and adolescent psychiatry at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland believed that "in general, these people tend to be socially inept and alienated from the mainstream."

I'm the Joker, 'Batman' shooting suspect tells police

Image: Brendon Hutchinson, 11, of Aurora, Colorado sits at the intersection north of the Century 16 theater shootings in Aurora
Photographs: Reuters

Police estimates have said that 14 people were killed and nearly 50 were injured in the incident.

Officials arrested Holmes in the parking lot of the movie theatre while his partner is still on the loose. 

Tags: Joker , Batman , Holmes

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Source: ANI