Colorado Theater Shooting: Aurora A Year Later As 'Dark Knight' Suspect James Holmes Seeks Insanity

Category: Media & Culture / Jul 18, 2013 8:46AM EDT

Survivors and family members prepare to mark one year since gunman James Holmes opened fire on theater-goers in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people in a deadly outburst of gun violence that shocked the country.

The attack, which along with last year's Connecticut school rampage helped re-ignite a national debate on gun control, ranks as one of the nation's deadliest mass shootings.

Holmes, 25, is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder for a barrage of gunfire on July 20, 2012 that left 12 dead and 58 others wounded during a midnight screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." A dozen others suffered non-gunshot injuries in the ensuing pandemonium.

Those who witnessed the shooting told of a nightmarish scene, with dazed victims bleeding from bullet wounds, spitting up blood and crying for help.

For many, it evoked memories of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, 17- miles (27-km) from Aurora, where two students opened fire and killed 12 students and a teacher.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty against Holmes, a California native, if he is convicted.

The one-time University of Colorado neuroscience graduate student has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

His trial is scheduled to start in February 2014 and is expected to last for about four months.


Video Credit: Reuters