Mass murder suspect James Holmes applied for membership at a Colorado gun range in June but was never accepted, Fox News reports, because the gun range's owner became suspicious of the young man's behavior.
Lead Valley Range owner Glenn Rotkovich said that Holmes' application, sent via email on June 25th, was routine enough and didn't raise any red flags. But when Rotkovich called Holmes to follow up about a mandatory orientation meeting, the voicemail greeting he heard was "bizarre, kind of strange utterings... almost freakish."
At first Rotkovich didn't think too much of it, putting the message down to youthful eccentricity. But when he got no return call from Holmes and had to call him two more times, only to get the same disturbing message, alarm bells began to go off in his head. Rotkovich said he alerted his staff that if Holmes showed up at the range, they were to come get him right away so he could talk to him.
That may not seem like much to go onÂ—after all, people come up with some pretty unusual ways to express themselves on their voicemail greetings. But clearly this man's instincts were right on. As is usually the case, it's often the little, seemingly unimportant things that in hindsight end up as clues to a dangerous personality.
It's good to know that gun ranges are so thorough and careful when vetting potential members. One hopes that there are more people like Rotkovich in charge to spot those who have no business handling weapons.
Of course, that's probably not going to stop someone who's mentally disturbed from committing violent acts. James Holmes never contacted the Lead Valley Range again, and just weeks later, he apparently had all the familiarity with firearms he felt he needed to unleash his horrific attack at the Aurora movie theater. But it's a testament to the power of human judgment and perception that at least one person could tell, without even meeting him, that this was an individual who was up to no good.