James Holmes, the man accused of murdering 12 people last month at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, talked with a classmate in March about wanting to kill people, according to a court filing by prosecutors.
“The defendant had conversations with a classmate about wanting to kill people in March 2012, and that he would do so when his life was over,” Arapahoe District Attorney Carol Chambers said in the filing dated Aug. 14 and made public yesterday.
Holmes is accused of opening fire on the audience at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora on July 20, killing 12 and injuring at least 58. He is charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. First-degree murder is punishable by death or life in prison under Colorado law.
Chambers also said in the filing that Holmes was denied access to the University of Colorado following June 12 after he made threats to a professor at the school. Holmes was a graduate student in neuroscience at the university in Denver.
The Colorado attack has been followed by at least two other high-profile shootings. On Aug. 5 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple before being wounded by police and taking his own life.
Yesterday, a man fired from his job near the Empire State Building returned to his former workplace and shot a co-worker, triggering a firefight with police near one of Manhattan’s most recognizable landmarks, New York police said.
The shooter and a 41-year-old man died, and as many as nine people were injured, according to police. The assailant, Jeffrey Johnson, was fired last year from his job as a women’s accessory designer at Hazan Imports Corp., Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news briefing.
Holmes appeared in court Aug. 16 in Colorado as lawyers discussed how to contact victims and alert them to $4 million in donations. With dyed orange hair and wearing handcuffs and a red prison uniform, Holmes sat with his lawyers, Daniel King and Tamara Brady. He didn’t address the court during the hearing in Centennial, Colorado.
Douglas Wilson, the head of the state public defender’s office, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the court filing made public in Holmes’s case. Judge William Sylvester has restricted what prosecutors and lawyers for Holmes can discuss publicly.
Jacque Montgomery, a University of Colorado spokeswoman, didn’t return a call seeking comment on the case.
The case is People v. Holmes, 12-cr-01522, 18th Judicial District Court, Colorado (Centennial).