tv CBS Evening News CBS July 21, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
patients are dealing with right now are going to be permanent. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news." with jeff glor reporting tonight from aurora, colorado. >> glor: and good evening, everyone. the movie theater complex behind us here in the denver suburbs is quiet tonight. police have completed their search of the theater where the shooting spree occurred. besides the 12 people killed during the midnight screening of the new batman movie, another 58 were injured, most by gunfire. seven of the wounded remain in critical condition at local hospitals. the alleged gunman, 24-year-old james eagan holmes, is in the county jail, reportedly in solitary confinement for his own safety. his first court appearance is scheduled for monday morning. today, police began their search of his apartment after detonating an explosive device holmes had left inside, and authorities say that video shows him picking up a shipment of 150 pounds of ammunition.
and new pictures of holmes have emerged as well. in a summer lab program for pre-med college students in san diego where he grew up. that was six years ago. we have a team of correspondents working this story tonight, looking at those lives cut short, those who survived and the investigation. joining me first is barry petersen with what we're learning about some of those who died. barry. >> reporter: the effort today has been to identify the dead. so far names of 11 of the 12 victims, and the release of every name is news that is devastating to family and friends. on his 27th birthday, alex sullivan had much to celebrate-- his coming one-year wedding anniversary, and from the batman premiere, he tweeted, "oh, man, one hour till the movie, and it's going to be the best birthday ever." then came the chaos. his desperate father, tom, captured in this picture, hunted for a word. >> call me. find my son, call me!
>> reporter: late last night, the worst news possible: alex was dead. he was one of the victims remembered at this makeshift memorial. also killed was matt mcquinn, also 27. when the shooting started, he jumped on top of his girlfriend, samantha yower, shielding her from the gunfire. she was shot in the leg, but his last wish was granted. she will live. john blunt also gave his life for the one loved, pushing girlfriend jansen young after a seat before she was shot "i would not be here," she said, "if john had not been next to me in that theater." 18-year-old alexander's blake nickname was a.j. friends got the news last night at a grief counseling center. >> he was friends with everybody, and everybody just knew a.j. >> reporter: a grieving father, in this picture from the "denver post," heard the news a parent could barely contemplate. his six-year-old daughter, veronica, was confirmed among
the dead today. the youngest victim. her mother was shot twice and is in intensive care. veronica's aunt, annie duncan, and her daughter, catherine, saw veronica five days ago when she came for dinner and lit up the house. >> she just wanted to have fun. i mean, she was what you would want your six-year-old to be. >> reporter: happy? >> yup. >> reporter: she's a happy child? >> she's a happy child. >> reporter: veronica was spending the summer learning how to swim, and she was very proud of herself. >> just thought she was really pretty something special. nobody could have told her that she couldn't do something. >> reporter: many of the families are still in shock. that will give way to grief, and then comes a lifetime of struggle to accept what they have lost. jeff? >> glor: barry, thank you very much. the gunman also wounded 58 other people. john blackstone has been checked aurora's hospitals and has found some remarkable stories of survival. >> reporter: in aurora's hospital rooms, it quickly
becomes clear how many more could have been killed. >> the wound was somewhere around here. and, you know, it was just a few millimeters centimeters in, and i don't think i would have left the theater. >> reporter: stephen barton says the theater darkness was broken by a muzzle flash. >> at the time, i thought it was fireworks. and then i got hit here and i realized it was something much more serious. >> it sounded like a firecracker just went off in the back of my head, and, you know, i was, like, man, what has happened? so i kind of fell over in my friend's lap. >> reporter: 17-year-old zack golditch went to the midnight movie with the reluctant approval of his mother. >> i was more worried about curfew than i was worried about somebody going into a theater and shooting my son, shooting children-- not just my kid but other people. >> reporter: zach wasn't even in the same theater as the gunman. a bullet came through the wall and went through his neck. >> i leaned over on my armrest a little bit, you know.
who knows where it would have went. i'm just grateful to be here. >> reporter: he ducked beneath the seats trying hide from the gunman. a bullet ripped through his arm and leg. >> i definitely a type of positive description when it comes to being shot. all it was after that was just pain and agony. you know, it's just like this white, burning sensation in my body. >> reporter: but those physical wounds aren't the only ones he's trying to heal. >> the first night sleeping here was not very good at all because all i was getting was just flashbacks of the shots and the people screaming. and, of course, my kids were still in my head. >> reporter: he thought of his children, he says, as he waited for the gunfire to stop, and he was determined that the killer would not kill him. >> i beat you. i made it. you didn't take my life. you didn't take my friend's life, either. but i pray, and i feel so sorry
for the other families and all the other men and women that didn't make it. i just can't imagine someone's life being taken away like that. >> reporter: joshua says his life was probably saved because the gunman's gun seemed to jam just before he got to the row where joshua was hiding. jeff? >> glor: john, thank you. the apartment of accused gunman james holmes was the focus of an hours-long operation today aimed at disarming the explosive devices he left behind. jim axelrod is outside the apartment. jim, good evening to you. >> reporter: good evening, jeff. it was a challenging but successful day for investigators here, dealing with an apartment they say was booby-trapped in a highly sophisticated manner. after breaking through the windows of james holmes' apartment, police were able to get a camera inside, revealing a tripwire near the door designed to trigger an explosion. investigators could see at least
30 shells the size of softballs made mostly of rubber and filled, they say, with gunpowder to create homemade grenades. by mid-morning, police disabled the wire and the first bomb attached to it. >> this tripwire was set up to clearly detonate when somebody entered that apartment, and it was set up to kill that person. >> reporter: an hour later, bomb squad members carefully placed a small explosive device of their own inside the apartment. ( explosion ) it was a disruption device designed to disable another bomb in the apartment by emitting a shockwave and water. no other booms followed, which meant it worked. investigators would be able to enter the apartment and collect evidence. >> it went very, very well. the threat has not been completely eliminated. it has been significantly reduced. >> reporter: this working class neighborhood in north aurora has been filled with bomb squad
vehicles, fire trucks and investigators all focused on one 800-square-foot apartment in a cluster of tightly packed apartment buildings. >> didn't even know he lived there. >> reporter: kaitlyn fonzi lives in the unit below holmes. the night of the shooting, she heard loud music and went upstairs to ask him turn it down. the door was slightly open, but at the last moment she decided not to push in. >> knowing that something that was designed to kill you was right above your head while you were sleeping, that's-- that's a little nerve-racking, and it doesn't allow for very good sleep. >> reporter: late this afternoon, bomb squad members escorted explosive chemicals recovered from holmes' apartment to a remote area outside denver. the bomb-making ingredients were buried in a sandy pit so they could be rendered harmless with a controlled explosion. to hear investigators tell us, james holmes was very thorough in wiring his apartment. sources tell us he even booby- trapped his refrigerator.
jeff? >> glor: jim, thank you. the f.b.i. and department of homeland security have issued a joint intelligence bulletin to state and local police urging them to be vigilant. but the advisory also stresses that friday's attack appears to be an isolated event, not part of some broader threat. justice correspondent bob orr is in washington and has more on the investigation tonight. >> reporter: sources say investigators have found key evidence in dumpsters and trash bins outside of james holmes' apartment. including a shipping label from an internet ammunition store called bulkammo.com. sources say investigators have also recovered a surveillance video of james holmes picking up approximately 150 pounds of ammunition at a federal express outlet in colorado. they've interviewed a u.p.s. driver who said holmes had 90 packages delivered to his workplace on the university of colorado medical campus. and sources say over the past several months, holmes spent about $15,000 as he was putting
together his deadly arsenal-- guns, chemicals, explosives and ammunition. aurora police chief dan oates says it all adds up to a methodically planned attack. >> what we're seeing here is evidence of, i think, some calculation and deliberations. >> reporter: investigators suspect holmes accelerated his planning in late may when he purchased the first of the four guns found at the shooting scene. over the internet, police say, holmes bought a staggering amount of ammunition. >> and through the internet, he purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 3,000 rounds of 223 ammunition for the assault rifle, 3,000 rounds of 40-caliber ammunition for the two glocks in his possession, and 300 rounds for the 12-gauge shotgun. >> reporter: holmes did most of his shopping on internet sites, including e-bay. and he was clearly in a hurry. this receipt from tacticalgear.com shows on july 2, two and a half weeks before
the shootings, holmes purchased a bulletproof vest and other equipment. he paid extra to have it shipped second-day air. but investigators still don't know what moved a quiet neuroscience grad student to allegedly commit mass murder. one quick footnote: e-bay now tells us they find no records themselves that holmes used their site. officials have said otherwise. meanwhile, police now are interviewing former classmates, neighbors, coworkers, looking for any explanations. but more definitive clues might be found in holmes' apartment. there, the investigators say they're looking for computer files, e-mails and any communication records which might point to motive, jeff. >> glor: bob orr in washington. bob, thank you. coming up, the politics of the gun control debate when the "cbs evening news" from aurora continues. evening news from aurora continues.
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>> glor: the carnage here in aurora, colorado, has for some reopened the nation's debate about gun control. the issue came up after the 1999 columbine massacre not far from here but has largely been dormant since former congresswoman gabrielle giffords was shot in 2011. margaret brennan is in washington tonight. margaret, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, jeff. and new legislation is a long shot, especially in an election year. and while there is talk about restricting who can own guns, sales of guns themselves are climbing. one day after the mass shooting in aurora, colorado, and this virginia firing range is packed. firearms instructor mark briley has a schedule of students. >> you insert the magazine. >> reporter: briley says the tragedy shouldn't change who can own a gun. >> it makes no sense. to penalize people that are doing the right thing because a
person does the wrong thing. >> reporter: and gun owners have not been penalized. in fact, there haven't been any new restrictions on ownership in the past four years. there are very few politicians willing to publicly battle to ban certain weapons. >> the bottom line is if we had fewer guns, we would have a lot fewer murders. >> reporter: in an interview on "face the nation" to air tomorrow, mayor michael bloomberg blamed both president obama and mitt romney for failing to do enough. >> it's time for both of them to be held accountable. >> reporter: yet fear of new laws has helped to pump up gun sales. ruger and smith & wesson with with are backlogged with orders. in the last three months, sales at smith & wesson are up 28%. alleged shooter james holmes also used one of their assault rifles to carry out the massacre. and applications for f.b.i. background checks to buy guns are climbing. while new laws aren't likely, first-time gun owner annie
fowler says police should work harder to enforce existing laws for gun buyers. >> i think there have been some lapses in how it's been done, and i think it's important that it really be done a little bit of rigor. >> reporter: even if new laws were enacted, it's unlikely that they'd be able to separate gun owners from the nearly 300 million firearms already in u.s. households. jeff. >> glor: margaret brennan, thank you. next up, a talk with aurora's representative in congress, ed perlmutter, about assault weapons. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you've been years in the making. and there are many years ahead. join the millions of members who've chosen an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan
>> glor: we're back with our coverage in aurora, colorado. and we are joined now by congressman ed perlmutter. this is his district. congressman, good evening. >> good to see you, jeff. >> glor: we just had a report from washington. i wonder, in your estimation, does this change the gun control debate in this country? >> i don't think it changes it, but it certainly keeps it in focus. what happened here at the movie theater right behind us was just a horrific shooting, and with very powerful weaponry. many, many, many hundreds and hundreds of rounds of
ammunition, and i think we have to take a look at how people get access to this kind of power. >> glor: the assault weapons ban in effect from '94 to '04, does it need to come back? >> i think it does. i think that the weapon here, at its minimum, was shooting 50, 60 rounds a minute, and that was the rifle. there were some extra-long ammunition magazines for the handguns. so i think there's a lot that we have to look at because these kinds of incidents aren't just happening every few years. they're happening every few months now. >> glor: we saw virginia tech, we saw what happened in binghampton, we saw most recently the gun control debate came up in the trayvon martin case. and yet the laws have not changed. why do you think this case might be different? >> well, they came too with my friend gabby giffords getting shot. >> reporter: absolutely. >> doing something similarly to
what i do in this district. i just think people seeing kind of the horrific hots and imagining the terror that existed inside that movie theater for a minute or two or how long it took is really going to make people sit up and take notice. this isn't something that seems to be going away. we seem to be having these at too-regular an interval. >> glor: in your estimation, should this be parother presidential campaign, the presidential debate as we approach this election? it's not right now. >> . >> i don't know whether it should be part of the presidential debate but it certainly should be part of the discussion we have in congress going forward. you know, the ease of access of all the ammunition that this young man got over the internet and through the mail. we've got to look at those kinds of things. >> glor: and is there a differentation here between what he purchased in some of the colorado gunshops and the other, the ammunition, he, obviously, purchase online.
>> well, there's a differentation between lots of things, but i think the whole issue, specifically the amount of ammunition he bought, coupled with the assault rifle that he had in his possession. >> glor: congressman ed perlmutter, we appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you. >> glor: we'll be right back from aurora, colorado. ok! who gets occasional constipation,
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>> glor: recapping today's developments here in aurora, colorado, a controlled explosion today helped neutralize the booby trapped apartment of 24-year-old james holmes, accused in the biggest mass shooting in u.s. history. authorities say 60 explosives, some of them sophisticated were "set up to kill." holmes is scheduled to make his first court appearance on monday. there is still no known motive for friday's attack. warner brothers, the distributor of the new batman movie, says it will withhold releasing box office numbers until monday. more vigils are planned tonight and tomorrow to remember those 12 who were killed and support the dozens who were wounded. in all, therapy 70 casualties. police say nearly all of those suffered gunshot wounds. hospital officials say seven
people remain in critical condition tonight. that is the cbs evening news. i'll be back later with more on the shooting on a special edition of "48 hours: tragedy in aurora," at 10 p.m., 9:00 p.m. central. there will be updates as well first thing tomorrow on "sunday morning" and "face the nation." i'm jeff glor, cbs news, reporting tonight from aurora, colorado, i'll see you again soon.