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Aurora theater shooting: James Holmes bought four guns in two months and 6k rounds of ammo

James Holmes, the 24-year-old suspect in the Aurora theater shooting, legally bought four guns at metro gun shops in the last sixty days, Aurora police Chief Dan Oates said at a press conference tonight. Holmes also bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition off the Internet, Oates said, including a one hundred-round drum magazine that was recovered from the scene.

Police believe Holmes had four guns with him the night of the shooting: one AR-15 assault rifle, one Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun and two 40-caliber Glock handguns. Oates said Holmes purchased about 3,000 rounds of ammunition for the assault rifle, 3,000 rounds for the handguns and 300 rounds for the shotgun. He also purchased "multiple" magazines for the assault rifle, Oates said, including the one referenced above.

Oates said he's been told by experts that Holmes could have shot fifty to sixty rounds in a minute with the drum magazine, even if the weapon was only semi-automatic. He said the shots happened at a "pretty rapid pace."

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates on Friday night.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates on Friday night.
Melanie Asmar

Oates also corrected an earlier count of the victims: There are 70 -- not 71, as he'd reported earlier. Twelve were killed, and he said most of the others were shot, though a small number sustained non-gunshot injuries.

The bodies of the ten victims who died in the theater have been removed, Oates said. (Two more died at the hospital.) He said he anticipates receiving a list of their names tonight, after which he expects to "begin the agonizing process of meeting with those families and confirming what has happened to their loved ones."

The last body was removed from the Century 16 theater around 5 p.m. Friday.

Holmes's Apartment is Booby-Trapped

Officials are postponing action on Holmes's booby-trapped apartment until Saturday, Oates said. "It's a very vexing problem how to enter that apartment safely," he said. He described the apartment as filled with what appear to be jars of liquid and jars of ammunition and "things that look like mortar rounds." There also appear to be trip wires, he said.

Residents of Holmes's apartment building and four others were evacuated today. Police are allowing them to briefly re-enter their apartments tonight to get essential items but not to spend the night there.

Oates became emotional when speaking about the effects of the tragedy on the Aurora police force. After things slow down, he said, "one of our highest priorities is to deal with our officers" and how they're coping with the tragedy.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Friday night.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Friday night.
Melanie Asmar

Governor John Hickenlooper also spoke briefly. "We can't explain it at this point," he said of the shooting, adding that Colorado will rise above it.

See Also:

- Aurora theater shooting: James Holmes's apartment is booby-trapped, police chief says

- Photos of James Holmes, medical school dropout and alleged Aurora theater shooter

- Aurora theater shooting news archive

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar!

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Century 16 Aurora

14300 E. Alameda Ave.
Aurora, CO 80012

303-363-0300