Did ‘The Joker’ have an accomplice? Witness ‘saw someone let gunman into cinema before Colorado massacre’
By Hugo Gye
PUBLISHED: 23:13 GMT, 21 July 2012 | UPDATED: 23:13 GMT, 21 July 2012
Did he act alone? A witness says Colorado shooter James Holmes, pictured, may have had help
Ever since news emerged of Thursday night’s massacre of 12 people during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, it has been assumed that alleged gunman James Holmes acted alone.
However, a new eyewitness account has cast doubt on that account of the shooting.
One witness who saw Holmes launch his deadly attack says he thought he also saw someone open the doors of the movie theatre to let the shooter in.
The witness, who has not been named, told KCNC it appeared that a cinemagoer who left the screening after receiving a telephone call deliberately left the emergency exit open.
Holmes used the emergency exit to access the screening of the Hollywood blockbuster in Aurora, Colorado.
The witness said: ‘As I was sitting down to get my seat, I noticed that a person came up to the front row, the front right, sat down, and as credits were going, it seemed like he got a phone call.
‘So he went out toward the emergency exit doorway, which I thought was unusual to take a phone call. And it seemed like he probably pried it open, or probably did not let it latch all the way.
‘As soon as the movie started, somebody came in, all black, gas mask, armour, and threw a gas can into the audience, and it went off, and then there were gunshots that took place.’
Witness: This man claims to have seen someone leave the emergency exit of the cinema open for Holmes near the beginning of the film
Massacre: 12 people were left dead and 58 injured in the Colorado shooting
Police have so far been unable to find a motive for the attack apparently launched by the suspect who calls himself ‘The Joker’.
There has not yet been any suggestion that Holmes had any accomplices – indeed, those who know him have described him as generally unsociable.
However, the grad school dropout had seemingly spent months planning the murderous assault, as he had amassed a stockpile of arms and explosives over long period of time.
Victims’ families and survivors may get more of an insight into Holmes’s motivation after his first court appearance on Monday morning.