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Observant SWAT Cops, Jammed Gun Saved Lives In Colo. Shooting

July 23, 2012  | 

Two Aurora (Colo.) Police Department SWAT officers likely prevented further deaths at the Century 16 movie theater shooting Friday, when they quickly identified James Holmes as the suspect.

The officers spotted Holmes—dressed like a SWAT officer and clad in a ballistic helmet, body armor, a load-bearing vest, gas mask, and other tactical gear—behind the theater after the shooting and questioned him, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told CBS' Face the Nation.

The officers noticed Holmes was wearing non-police tactical gear and apprehended him after a shooting rampage that claimed the lives of 12 people at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Holmes had opened fire inside the theater with a Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle, Remington 870 shotgun, and .40-caliber Glock. A second .40-caliber Glock was recovered from his vehicle.

A federal law enforcement official told the Washington Post that a weapon malfunction likely saved lives by forcing Holmes to abandon the M&P15 he had equipped with a 100-round drum magazine after it jammed.

In the two months leading up to the shooting, Holmes stockpiled ammunition mostly with online orders. He had purchased about 6,000 rounds of ammo, some of which he had delivered to his workplace at the University of Colorado's Anchutz Medical Campus, reports Bloomberg.

Related:

Colo. Shooting Suspect Appears Dazed In First Court Appearance

Colo. Cops Defeat Holmes' 'Death Trap'

Colo. Gun Range Owner: James Holmes Was 'Creepy, Weird'

Tags: 2012 Aurora Shooting, Aurora (Colo.) PD, Active Shooters, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Body Armor, Tactical Gear


Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

Jon A Yarbrough @ 7/23/2012 6:57 PM

isn't there any metrics in place that measures consistent ammo purchases?

Rick @ 7/23/2012 7:40 PM

Well, the FBI checks real time credit card purchases to look for terrorist activity; it looks like they missed 6,000 rounds being purchased in a month, but it isn't a crime to purchase large amounts of ammo online, by mail order or in person at a gun show. Lots of people buy ammo in bulk because it is less expensive than purchasing 50-100 rounds at a time. The real lesson here is that criminals target defenseless victims; this theater was a gun free zone, so citizens were unable to fight back. Also the lesson learned is that many of the victims were shot "point blank", which means that NO ONE decided that they should fight back while the thug was reloading; anyone with a knife or defense pen could have attacked and as has happened in another incident, a number of people could have attacked him while he was reloading and held him for police. Americans need to get out of the mentality that they should cower and wait for law enforcement to act while more people, including their loved ones are killed. Americans used to have more courage and be more self sufficient than this. Before people go off on me about attacking an armed thug without a weapon, remember that this would be a last ditch effort. It would be better to get a CCW license and go somewhere that it is honored, or get a self defense pen and a knife that you can take most places.

Tom Ret @ 7/23/2012 9:38 PM

Didn't the suspect have the bulk of his 6000 rounds in his apt or workplace? If he had a couple hundred rounds on him or in his vehicle at the time of the incident, he could have had a million rounds in his apt or none and the incident would have been the same. I suspect there have been many people since Obama became president that have been hoarding ammo but they don't go out and slaughter people with it. They hoard it because of the fear of gun control, extreme ammo tax etc.

Bob @ 7/24/2012 4:43 AM

As others have said, ammunition is much less expensive in 1,000 round lots than in boxes of 20 or 50. Avid shooters will go though 1,000 rounds in weeks or a few months at most. Certainly, fear of what Obama will do at any time caused many to increase their inventory. But of the ~90 million legal firearm owners in the U.S., only one crazed psycho decided to shoot up a movie theater. You can do the math. Why punish tens of millions for the evil actions of one psychopath?

Range Master @ 7/24/2012 6:32 AM

I agree that since Obama became President, LEGAL gun owners have been buying ammo and guns for fear that Obama and the Brady bunch will ban guns and ammo for the ordinary citizen. The only people that will be allowed guns are the military and politicians. They fear the armed citizen. Has anyone noticed that the states and cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest homicide rate?

Dan @ 7/24/2012 7:35 AM

Ammo delivered to a medical facility?!? Might have been a clue to a problem if someone checked in shipments or mail.

jim @ 7/24/2012 7:37 AM

Guns normally do as they are designed to do. They merely send a solid metal object down the barrel when told to. Idiots like this can kill with a car, knife, or pencil, if they really want to. It just does not make the news in such a big way. If Holmes were to have run into a crowd with his truck, it would not have been reported the same and people would not be calling for the banning or control of vehicles. Not to blame the media on this event because they are just doing their jobs, but the media plays up whatever they want and play down whatever they do not want to talk about. There is a reason they are called the "Liberal Media". Each time a crazed hell-bound gutless wimp does something like this, we get closer to losing our second amendment rights. Rot in Hell Mr. Holmes. You are truly the devil's right hand man.

DPB @ 7/24/2012 3:43 PM

If the federal government is telling border patrol agents to run away from conflict, why in the world wouldn't you expect the sheep to cower before the wolf!

And I do blame the liberal media! They are doing a job alright, but they are pushing an agenda that includes disarming the law abiding, including honest police officers. The only ones to be armed are the commisars and brown shirt storm troopers Obamma promised us when he first ran for president (the ones that should be as strong and well armed as the US Military). The liberal media couldn't wait to try and blame conservatives and tea party members and link them to this coward who murdered innocent people.

Look out people, dictatorship is coming to America! The November election will seal our fate one way or the other!

FYA @ 7/24/2012 7:50 PM

"Obama" and the "Liberal Media"-you gotta be s---in' me. How much "gun control" has been enacted recently? None, ain't lost a thing or paid an extra cent tax for ammo (unless of course you count the shortage due to panic buying that impacted the market for absolutely no reason for months) Whoever you "Cops" are on this site I can't imagine. We enforce the laws, not bitch about the politicians and imagined conspiracies.

JD @ 7/25/2012 10:57 AM

Wasnt there some defence in 1945-46 where the defendants just said they were just following orders(ie enforcing the laws) evryone should be able to give their thoughts from the MY Mayor to Inividual officers. As far as I am concerned they never take gun laws away only add them,,so enforce the laws we have.

Sluggh @ 7/30/2012 11:26 PM

Is there any evidence Holmes fired the 870?

Lori @ 1/12/2013 10:40 PM

@Rick May I ask how people are supposed to fight back against someone who is dressed head to toe in anti-ballistic armor? If bullets, firing from a gun cannot penetrate that stuff, how in the he77 would a knife blade or "defensive pen" as you call it pierce through any of that?

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