New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that the suspected gunman at a Colorado showing of the latest Batman movie had painted his hair red and called himself the Joker, one of the villains populating the comic book world of Gotham.
At a news conference, Kelly said he had been briefed about the attack, which occurred early Friday at a post-midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” At least 12 people were killed and 59 injured in the rampage in Aurora, Colo.
“It clearly looks like a deranged individual. He has his hair painted red. He said he was the Joker, obviously the enemy of Batman,” Kelly told reporters.
He would not say who had briefed him, but he did speak with Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, a former colleague at the New York Police Department. At his news conference, Oates confirmed that he had talked with Kelly but would not discuss details.
New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne declined in an interview to discuss what Oates told Kelly about the Colorado shooting, including a description of the suspect wearing a Joker costume.
“They had a discussion, between the chiefs, and I would just leave it at that,” Browne said.
The suspect in the shooting, James Holmes, was in custody after the shooting about 12:30 a.m.
Officials said they had recovered four weapons--an assault rifle, a shotgun and two Glock handguns. The shotgun and one handgun were purchased from Bass Pro Shops, which said it had followed all requirements when it sold the weapons to Holmes.
“Based on the records we have reviewed, personnel in our Denver store correctly and fully followed all federal requirements with respect to the sale of one shotgun and one handgun to the individual identified in this incident. Background checks, as required by federal law, were properly conducted, and he was approved,” according to the statement issued by the store.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” the statement continued. “We also offer our support and appreciation to the law enforcement and emergency response professionals and all others who responded to give aid to these innocent victims.”