July 23rd, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Background of Colorado shooting suspect full of contrasts

By Mariano Castillo and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN

(CNN) - James E. Holmes is described by those who know him as a doctoral student who is clean-cut, quiet and responsible, an image difficult to reconcile with the same man who police allege opened fire in a crowded movie theater.

Days after the 24-year-old was arrested on suspicion of a mass shooting at the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora, Colorado, the portrait of Holmes that is emerging is as limited as it is confusing.

Pictures obtained of Holmes show a bright-eyed young man, who is tall with dark hair, which contrasts the description of the man by a law enforcement official who said he dyed his hair red and identified himself as "the Joker" to authorities after he was arrested early Friday morning for allegedly shooting people during a screening of the new Batman movie.

By all accounts, Holmes is a bright student. He entered the University of California, Riverside, in 2006 as a scholarship student and graduated with highest honors with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience in 2010.

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  1. Gaby

    I am a pastor. You are so right and I am an adcaovte for non-violence, but we can all do more. Confront violent language. Tamp down passions when they teeter on the brink of blind impulse. Demonstrate faithfulness and conviction without damning those who think otherwise. Thank you.

    December 21, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |