AURORA, Colo. (AP) - New York City's police commissioner says the gunman in the Colorado movie theater rampage had painted his hair red and called himself the Joker - the villain from the Batman movies. Officials say 24 year old James Holmes is now refusing to talk to investigators and has asked for a lawyer.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday that he had been briefed about the shootings that killed 12 and wounded 59 others at a showing of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" at a suburban Denver theater.
Kelly and his spokesman did not say who briefed him. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates would not confirm the information about Holmes, but confirmed he had spoken to Kelly. The two used to work together in New York.
Meanwhile, a U.S. official says Holmes bought a ticket to the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie and went into the theater as part of the crowd.
A federal law enforcement official said Holmes is believed to have propped open an exit door in the theater as the movie was playing, donned protective ballistic gear and opened fire. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Police recovered four guns at the theater, including two pistols, a shotgun and an assault rifle, Oates told reporters at a news conference. All four guns were purchased legally at two Colorado gun stores within the past two months, Orr reports. Authorities also recovered a ballistic helmet and a gas mask.
12 people died and 59 others injured, police said. The violent and chaotic scene erupted about 12:30 a.m. local time as Holmes stood at the front of one of the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall where the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing, police said. Four theaters were sold out for showings of the movie-the police chief did not know exactly how many people were inside at the time of the attack.
Police, ambulances and emergency crews swarmed on the scene after frantic calls started flooding the 911 switchboard, officials said. Officers found Holmes near a car behind the theater. A gas mask, rifle, handgun at least one additional weapon were found inside. Officers say Holmes was wearing body armor including a bullet proof vest, throat and groin protectors.
Police conducted an extensive search at the apartment that's believed to be Holmes. Officers using surveillance cameras and a fire engine ladder to look inside the window of the apartment, located on third floor found that the apartment appears to contain a sophisticated booby trap. Five nearby buildings have been evacuated and police are now considering how to deal with the situation. The police chief of Aurora, Colorado says the setup is "something I've never seen."
Officials at the University of Colorado Med School say Holmes was student there but withdrew last month. Oates said there's no evidence of any other attackers. There was also no immediate word of any motive. Federal law enforcement officials are being briefed on the attack, but at this point, there is no indication it is terrorism-related, Miller reports.
One federal official told CBS News that at this time Holmes appears to have been "under the radar." CBS News reports Holmes doesn't appear to have a criminal record in Colorado or in San Diego, Calif., where he graduated from high school in 2006. Pentagon officials said there is no record of Holmes having served in any branch of the military.
The youngest reported victim is a 3-month-old, who is said to be doing fine at University Hospital, which is treating 20 patients, including nine in critical condition. Another victim is a six-year-old being treated at Children's Hospital, where a total of six victims were taken. Their condition wasn't known. Victims were rushed to six area hospitals overall.
William Kent, who was in an adjacent theater, said bullets came through the wall but with the action on screen, people didn't realize what was happening. "And they started the fire alarm or the emergency alarm, said that there had been something that happened in the building and evacuated everybody. There was a huge commotion to get out of the theater. When I exited, there were police officers with assault rifles running in," Kent told CBS News.
Benjamin Fernandez, who was also in an adjacent theater, said he saw a young girl, around 12 or 13 years old, laying on the concrete when he exited the building. "From what I saw, she had two bullet wounds in her leg and just blood all over her stomach. Her friends were all just yelling, crying. ... We were just all pretty much in shock," he said on "CBS This Morning."
Witness Hayden Miller told KUSA-TV that he was inside Theater 16 and heard several shots. Hayden said at first he thought it was part of a louder movie next door. But then he saw "people hunched over leaving theater."
Paul Otermat, who told Sky News he was in the theater when the incident occurred, said he "thought it was a publicity stunt," when he saw a man in a long coat walk in and hurl what he believed was a tear gas canister at the crowd. "Then he started firing shots into the crowd," Otermat said. He says he and his girlfriend ducked to the floor and crept out as gunfire continued. "My girlfriend saw a canister on the ground that was still foaming ... We ran through the lobby and we heard more shots, and we ran out into the parking lot and got into our car and left."
President Barack Obama released a statement in which he said that he and first lady Michelle Obama were "shocked and saddened" by the "horrific and tragic" shooting. Obama said his administration would do everything they can to support the people of Aurora, Colo. "As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors," Obama said.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a statement that he and his wife, Ann, were "deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence" that led to the loss of life and injuries. He said they were praying for the families and loved ones of the victims "during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice."
"Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time," the studio said.
Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today released the following statement: "Confronted with incomprehensible evil, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly. I join President Obama, and every American, in sending my thoughts and prayers to the victims of this awful tragedy. We will all stand with them, as one nation, in the days ahead."