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Four Guns and 6,000 Rounds of Ammunition: James Holmes' Chilling Purchases Prior to the Shooting


"My understanding is all weapons he possessed, he possessed legally."

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, speaking earlier today

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates spoke to the press this evening, the second two press conferences today, discussing new developments that had been percolating in the press since the announcement had been made that a suspect had been apprehended in the Dark Knight Rises shooting case.

Oates was visibly emotionally disturbed throughout, and even appeared close to tears while describing the horror of the experience. Nevertheless, he did let slip a highly disturbing fact about the shooter, James Holmes, and the preparations he had made to carry out this act. And if Oates' account is correct, then the image that is emerging of Holmes as a cold-blooded, meticulous psychopath looks highly plausible.

According to Oates, Holmes managed to - legally - purchase no less than four different guns at various local Colorado stores, as well as 6000 rounds of ammunition over the internet. Worse, he appears to have done this over the space of 2 months, suggesting this plan was gestating for at least that long, and was not, in fact, the random act of a man who snapped in the moment.

"My understanding is all weapons he possessed, he possessed legally. All ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally," Oates said.

Oates also mentioned that all the bodies of victims had been removed from the theater as of 5 PM this afternoon. He also said that identifications of the victims would be coming within the next few hours. So far, 70 casualties have been counted, 12 of which were fatal. Of those 12, 10 were killed instantly by the gunfire, and 2 died at area hospitals. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told the press at this point that 30 patients remain hospitalized, 11 of whom are in critical condition, making the potential death poll higher.

As for Holmes himself, he will appear in Court at 8:30 AM Monday morning, according to Oates. However, Oates also said that Holmes' apartment would not be investigated by police until tomorrow due to pervasively dangerous conditions on the ground. Specifically, the apartment appears to be booby trapped with several jars of liquid and what Oates described as some objects that "look like mortar rounds."

Because of this, police will be investigating Holmes' neighbors before resuming the investigation.

As to how Holmes entered the theater? Apparently, he had a ticket along with everyone else, but was able to duck out through an emergency exit, which he propped open, to retrieve his instruments.

No motive has been assigned to the killer yet, and Oates has steadfastly refused to confirm reports that Holmes believed himself to be "The Joker," Batman's terrifying enemy in the 2008 film "The Dark Knight."

A prayer vigil will be held Sunday. ABC News has also reported on other developments in the case, including the release of the photo above, depicting shooter James Holmes:

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