It was probably the only thing that could’ve overshadowed the opening weekend of the most anticipated movie this summer would be some kind of freak massacre.
Which is exactly what happened on Thursday at the midnight premiere of “Dark Knight Rises,” the last of the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, in Aurora, Colo.
The suspect, James E. Holmes, a 24-year-old doctorate student, dressed all in black and wearing a gas mask and bulletproof vest, opened fire in the theater with three weapons, killing 12 and injuring 58. The tragedy made news around the world and, even on Sunday night, still dominates online sites, TV news and blogs.
While the number of people killed — and the stories behind them — make this crime horrific, it’s really the location and profile of the alleged gunman that have people shocked and worried.
Holmes is smart, normal, with no criminal record save for a speeding ticket. He had no history of torturing animals or writing death threats on Facebook walls. He could’ve been that guy next door, the one standing in line behind you at Foodland — or the one you sat next to in a crowded theater on the midnight premiere of “Dark Knight Rises.”
And the location was just as disturbing. A movie theater. A place where people go to escape exactly these kinds of abhorrent things. A place where families go, friends go, couples go. It’s the last place you’d expect something like this to happen.
I find myself completely obsessed with news coverage, mainly on the suspected gunman. And for precisely the reasons I’ve listed above.
You hear criminal psychologists talk about the common traits of serial killers and mass murderers. Well, this guy didn’t exhibit them, and that’s what makes this whole tragedy that much more disturbing.
You just never know.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose someone in such a needlessly violent way, and my heart goes out to all the survivors, the families, everyone who’s been affected by this tragedy. Know that the world is thinking about and praying for you, even the folks in Hawaii.