Former PhD student James Holmes left a sophisticated series of chemical weapons and trip wires in his apartment before he left on his rampage at the Century Theater in Aurora, Colorado. Since the wee hours of Friday morning, specialized SWAT teams have been working round the clock to figure out a way to diffuse the threat, and previously described the cornucopia of wires and triggers as a "vexing problem."
Earlier this morning, though, authorities say they diffused several of the biggest threats in his apartment, allowing them to enter gingerly to neutralize the rest. At 10:30 local time, Sergeant Cassidee Carlson of the Aurora police said that the bomb squad had successfully dismantled the first trip wire that connected to the "incendiary" device. She told reporters that it was a device meant to kill.
After that, the team set off controlled detonations, and evacuees and residents could hear them from across the street. It was no doubt a harrowing experience, wondering what would happen if the bomb experts made a mistake.
The ultimate goal, say authorities, is to get to Holmes' computer and other belongings in order to gain insight into why the young man committed mass murder. As it stands, a robot has been doing the vast majority of the work, meticulously putting a water-filled tube next to each explosive device and detonating it.
The police are going about this very carefully. They're not rushing, and feel no need to. The suspect is in custody, and they will have all the answers they need to with or without the help of James Eagan Holmes.
Two Close Calls
Kaitlyn Fonzi, James Holmes' downstairs neighbor and university student, nearly died that night. When she heard the techno music her neighbor left on repeat in his apartment, other neighbors call 911 to complain, and Fonzi went upstairs to investigate. She discovered the door was unlocked and very nearly opened it. However, the girl had second thoughts and left it alone and walked away.
Her gut instincts saved her life.
Across town a group of men were saved from experiencing the gruesome rampage by a flat tire. Greg Jones, 45, was driving his gold Buick Century, carrying his brother and his brother's two sons, when the right rear tire blew out just blocks from the theater. After they fixed it, the group realized they were too late to see the beginning, and since they didn't want to miss any part of it, the group decided to postpone their outing and went home.
James Eagan Holmes masterminded a brilliant and twisted plan to take as many lives as possible, but he could have taken more. Until police are able to safely enter his home, the reasons behind his deranged actions remain a mystery.
Â©2012 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.