Dark Night Rises

Holmes’s plan was sim­ple: cut off the main es­cape route, cre­ate panic and shoot as many movie­go­ers as pos­si­ble

Real Crime - - Batman Multiplex Massacre -

1 EXIT STAGE RIGHT

The movie be­gins just after mid­night. Holmes has bought a ticket like any­one else. Pre­tend­ing to use his mo­bile phone, he leaves the theatre through a fire exit. As he leaves he props the door open. In­stead of us­ing his phone, Holmes heads for his car.

2 COS­TUME CHANGE

Holmes goes straight to his car parked near the en­trance. On goes his gas mask, hel­met, throat pro­tec­tor, bal­lis­tic leg­gings, boots and body ar­mour. He takes the shot­gun, ri­fle and one of his pis­tols, leav­ing the other hand­gun in the car. He heads back to the theatre.

3 THE MAS­SACRE BE­GINS

Holmes hurls two gas grenades, one to­wards each side of the theatre. His ri­fle strapped across his back, he uses the shot­gun first for max­i­mum ef­fect. Buck­shot sprays across the theatre and panic en­sues. Po­si­tioned near the main exit, Holmes is be­tween his vic­tims and their most ob­vi­ous es­cape route.

4 CLOSE CALL, NAR­ROW ES­CAPE

Dis­card­ing his empty shot­gun, Holmes un­straps his semi- au­to­matic ri­fle. Jennifer Seeger comes face to face with Holmes, who aims straight at her but doesn’t fire. In­stead he shoots an­other movie­goer stand­ing be­hind.

His shoot­ing is calm and me­thod­i­cal, pick­ing his tar­gets as he moves down the right side of the room. Seeger is lucky: she would later be in­ter­viewed, stat­ing that she did not know why he didn’t shoot her.

5 COLL ATERAL DAM­AGE

The 5.56mm round is de­signed for mil­i­tary use so is more pow­er­ful than many ri­fle bul­lets. One of them misses ev­ery­body in the room, pen­e­trates the wall and hits a vic­tim in theatre eight next door. Hun­dreds of 911 calls are now flood­ing into the Aurora Po­lice De­part­ment, and of­fi­cers re­spond im­me­di­ately.

6 A STRANGE DE­CI­SION

De­cid­ing that his mis­sion is ac­com­plished, Holmes sim­ply leaves and walks out­side. Faced with dozens of armed po­lice, he makes an odd choice and sur­ren­ders in­stead of at­tack­ing. It’s un­usual behaviour for a mass mur­derer, but un­pre­dictabil­ity is one of Holmes’s hall­marks. Hand­ing over his weapons, he is quickly taken into cus­tody.

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