James Holmes Called Himself ‘the Joker’ After Colorado Theater Shooting

James Holmes
This photo provided by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes. University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery says 24-year-old Holmes, who police say is the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. Holmes is suspected of shooting into a crowd at a movie theater killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more, authorities said. (AP Photo/University of Colorado)
Colorado Shooting Sus Mian
This photo provided by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes. (AP Photo/University of Colorado)

James Holmes, the alleged gunman accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others, reportedly told authorities following the Colorado theater massacre early Friday morning that he “was the Joker,” New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly said.

“He said he was the Joker, enemy of Batman,” Kelly said, according to the New York Daily News.

Holmes, 24, dyed his hair red to look like Batman’s arch nemesis, Kelly told reporters Friday. Kelly spoke with Aurora police chief Dan Oates, who declined to comment during a press conference when asked about the connection to the evil Batman character.

The Joker is a well-known character from the Batman comics and was featured in the first installment of The Dark Knight, which was released in 2008.

That’s not all authorities know about the man whose attack during The Dark Knight Rises premiere in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, sent shockwaves across the country, and prompted officials to beef up security around local movie theaters.

Police know that Holmes grew up in San Diego and was very intelligent. He graduated with honors two years ago from the University of California, Riverside. He moved on to the University of Colorado-Denver in 2011 and was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program but was about to withdraw from the program. It’s unclear why Holmes made plans to drop out.

Those who know Holmes have described him as “shy” and a “loner,” according to reports. He was bookish and played soccer in high school and also ran cross country.

He doesn’t have a criminal background, except for a traffic ticket, officials said.

Police said Holmes walked into the crowded theater for the midnight premiere of the highly anticipated finale to The Dark Knight trilogy dressed in black, wearing a gas mask, helmet, vest and leggings, and tactical gloves. Police found an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-guage shotgun and a .40 caliber Glock handgun, according to reports. Before firing the weapons, police said Holmes allegedly threw a gas canister into the crowd.

-With Associated Press