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tv   NBC Bay Area News at 11AM  NBC  July 20, 2012 11:00am-11:30am PDT

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we can tell you there were four showings of the "batman" movie. all of them were sold out. we have interviewed close to 200 witnesses. as to how many people in the theater, that's the best i can tell you. a question about social media. please as responsible journalists be very caful. we're analyzing media that's out there about this event and i can tell you that we are already finding that there are a lot of pranks. there's even someone who called a national media station and represented to be me. our colleagues in the adjoining mall have closed the mall for the day out of cooperation and spirit of cooperation with our investigation. with that, i would like to introduce district attorney carol chambers to make a few remarks and after she makes her remarks, special agent in charge will make some remarks and i'll
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take some questions. >> good morning. i first want to emphasize what a tremendous response there has been from law enforcement and especially from the aurora police department to this incident. i want to thank the u.s. attorney's offense and attorney general's office for their support. with this many victims, we have two concerns. one is providing information that they need and providing resources that they need. we will at this point in time victims should be contacting the aurora police department and they should be looking for resources on the aurora police department website. as the case goes to court next week, they can contact -- we have set up a contact e-mail account so that we can get information out as quickly as possible. we also have resources available on our website and i want to say that the aurora mental health center has agreed to stay open 24 hours a day for this weekend.
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people may find now and they may have a problem tomorrow. they may have a problem next week. they may have a problem several months down the line, but they should seek some counseling or resources if they've been victims. it's to be expected. if there are financial issues, that should not stop them. they should contact us for financial resources. we want to make sure we are getting out whatever our victims in this case need. so with that, i'll turn it over to special agent. >> good afternoon. i just want to reemphasize what chief oates has already talked about. we've had a tightly integrated investigative response. the fbi currently has approximately 100 folks on scene closely integrated with the aurora police department as do other federal agencies so atf is here in force with more than 25 folks. we are working on interviews.
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we are also collecting evidence and we are trying to run leads that span beyond colorado at this point. i want to emphasize at this point we do not see a nexus to terrorism but we are continuing to look and we're being as cautious as possible with the investigation as we move forward so the joint terrorism task force representing at least 23 federal, state and local agencies is on site and we're latched up tightly with the aurora police department in working in a coordinated fashion. i'll be followed by chief oates and we'll be prepared to take questions. >> i thank all our colleagues in law enforcement for our support today. i'll make a note that the senator has joined us and we're appreciative of the community members standing behind me. with that, i'll take a modest number of questions. >> any idea of a motive on this? >> we're not speculating on motive.
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>> chief, can you walk us through the time line of this? >> let's do one at a time. >> how did he get inside the theater? >> that's under investigation. i will tell you that his car was parked right outside the back door. >> can you walk us through the time line of this, when it began point by point and how long -- how much time elapsed? >> again, we were on scene within a minute or minute and a half and we immediately arrested the suspect in the back of the theater. from the first call to his apprehension was about a minute to minute and a half. >> did you have people inside the theater, off-duty police officers working the theater? were they on scene? >> we often have off-duty police officers working at this theater. they were not working there that night. as i said, the response was very rapid. he surrendered without any significant incidents to our officers. >> i'm sorry? >> why did he choose "batman"? >> i'm not going to get into why
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he did what he did. that's not something we're prepared to discuss. yes, sir. i'm sorry? [ inaudible question ] >> he was dressed as i described. >> did he say anything to you? >> that's not something we would discuss in this setting. >> the four weapons you described one of them being in the car -- >> there is pretty significant evidence that he used the ar-15 within the theater. the shotgun within the theater and a .40 caliber glock. in the end he was in possession of two .40 caliber glocks. which one he used in the theater or both, that's something that we're working on. we're simply not prepared to tell you how many magazines. there's an awful lot of forensic and ballistic evidence. we'll be in the theater for quite some time working scene through. we're not in a position to share
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that with you. >> the suspect said he was a joker and had red hair but he's cooperating with you. can you comment on that? >> i can't. i will tell you that i received a phone call from nypd today. i used to work for that agency and discussed the matter with them. beyond that, i have nothing to say about that. >> did he have a right to have those weapons? >> we're working up the investigation on those weapons. i don't know what their legal status is. we have the assistance of alcohol, tobacco and firearms in that workup and we'll see where that goes. that's something i'm not prepared to talk about right now. we are not sure what we're dealing with in the home. there are some chemical elements there and there were also some elements linked together with all kinds of wires. as a layman, it's something i have never seen before. we have smart bomb techs up there trying to figure out what we're going to do. >> why did he tell you there were explosives in his apartment?
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>> we don't know why he told us that. i'm not going to discuss what he's told us. >> aside from your speeding ticket, has your department ever been made aware of this individual at this point? >> that's the extent of our contact. if i knew that, i wouldn't tell it to you right now. i'm sorry. we're not in a position to talk about the identity of victims. let me talk a little bit about our handling of the victims. we obviously have a lot of work to do. we've mobilized at least 50 victim advocates to deal directly with the victims and their families. we set up a staging area for families at gateway high school right down the street and that continues to be the staging area for victims and obviously we ask that you give them some space and privacy. there are folks that are trying to locate loved ones. this is a very, very tough day for a whole lot of people. they've been through an awful lot. we would appreciate if you gave us some space. we're not in a position to talk about any of the victims until all of the victims are
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identified and all of the family members are spoken to by us. i'm not prepared to release his booking photo today. i don't know when we'll do that. yes, sir. >> is it legal to carry -- [ inaudible question ] >> i don't know the status of the legality of his possession of those weapons. i'll leave it at that. one more question. yes, sir. >> we had a witness tell us that he saw a suspicious person in the front aisle lingering near the exit where the suspect came in. i'm wondering -- [ inaudible question ] >> we have information as to what occurred in the theater based on roughly 200 interviews we have done and we have ballistic evidence inside that suggest how the shooting went down but we have so much
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investigation to do and that's the kind of evidence for prosecution and not for discussion at this time. >> you couldn't access that door from the outside, it has to be opened from the inside? >> we're not prepared to discuss any theories about how he got in there with weapons but we'll tell you that his car was parked right outside of the back door. >> are there cameras in those theaters? >> you got a 911 call at 12:39. >> we know there were a lot of rounds fired very rapidly. we know we were in about a minute and a half to two minutes from when we were called. now, in an event like that, you know, you can surmise how much time it takes for someone to call 911 and get to us. we'll leave it at that. we'll offer an update for you at 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. that update will be at aurora city hall. okay. thank you very much. >> so that was the news
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conference from aurora, colorado, where early this morning during the screening of the brand new "batman" movie, the new numbers that we have now according to aurora police is that 71 people were shot. 12 people confirmed dead right now. and we've been listening mostly to dan oates, who is the chief of police in aurora. spent 21 years at the new york police department. he couldn't give us much new information quite frankly except confirming the weapons that the suspect had on him at the time of this brutal and heinous attack. we also heard from the colorado governor who said our hearts are broken. the act that happened early this morning was apparently the act of what he described as a deranged mind. we're going to go to pete williams right now. he's been on this case since very, very early this morning. pete, what more can you tell us right now?
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>> well, i guess there are three places where this investigation is going on. still at the theater and as the chief made clear, that's going to take a long time to figure out as best they can how the events unfolded inside there, how the shooter got in, what he did, what sequence so that's going to be an actively worked and then there's the separate place of his apartment where there's apparently this bizarre series of contraptions in there that they need to figure out that will take a long time. in the colorado area they are also tracing when and how these four weapons were purchased. there's nothing in colorado law that would prohibit anyone from buying any one of these weapons. as you heard the chief say, there's no indication he had a criminal record. he wouldn't be disqualified from buying these weapons. he's an american citizen. nothing to prevent him from buying these. they'll want to know when and where because it may help indicate how long he's been playing this.
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very thoroughly planned because of how well equipped he was when he got to the theater and all the stuff he did to his apartment and the other part of the investigation is to completely probe his past. he grew up in san diego. went to school there. came to colorado to enroll and study neuroscience. what happened there and why did he drop out? did he drop out because he was having other problems? and i guess the thing that comes through the news conference quite clearly is they still don't have a good idea of why this happened. it's such a mystery. >> very interesting, pete. deborah post has been interviewing a lot of people in the neighborhood where he lived. one of the quotes that came from someone in his neighborhood who had seen him some frequent times said no one knew him, no one. this guy who was there in plain sight was unknowable. the search really will go on now to find out who in fact james holmes was. this is an incredible puzzle.
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lots of pieces that need to be put together here. of course all of the resources of nbc news are on the scene right now and we'll make sure that if there is any breaking news about this, we'll get it to you right away. we'll have continuing coverage of course on msnbc, and tonight brian williams will be reporting live from aurora colorado on "nbc nightly news" and ann curry will anchor a special edition of "dateline" live at 9:00 eastern, 8:00 central. i'm harry smith. nbc news, new york. a guy walks in dressed all in black, helmet, dwas mgas mas black armor. >> take a very close look. this is the first picture we're getting of 24-year-old james holmes, the man police say opened fire inside a crowded
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movie theater in aurora, colorado, killing at least 12 people, injuring as many as 59 others. witnesses say he looked like an assassin who was, quote, ready to go to war. armed with several guns, tear gas and a gas mask, others are telling police how frighteningly calm the shooter was, saying he practically just strutted in, pulled up his rifle and started shooting, stopping, quote, only to reload. >> we've just learned there were more than 200 witnesses to this mass shooting. james holmes is in custody and admitted to police he had more explosives and weapons at his nearby apartment. hundreds of investigators are searching his theater and that home as they try to understand why anyone would do this. nbc's leanne gregg is in aurora, colorado weather the latest. >> reporter: the long-awaited premiere of "the dark knight" turned into a terrifying scene. witnesses say an armed man
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entered a packed theater in aurora, colorado, taking aim at everyone in sight. >> a guy walked in, dressed all in black, helmet, gas mask, black armor. >> he threw this big green can of gas and threw it and it exploded. >> a loud bangs came from the right of the theater. smoke took over the entire theater and everything, and it was really thick. >> then after both of them exploded, that's when he began to shoot. >> i had the gun in my face, there's dead people arnold me. i was crying and almost at one point collapsed and had a panic attack. >> reporter: dozens were hit and take on the hospital. at least 12 reported dead. close to 40 were injured. this cell phone video captured the chaos outside the theater. >> -- gas mask. we can't get in it. i need officers. everyone's just brought in here. i need a large corps behind the theater. suspect in the gas mask. >> reporter: police moved in and quickly captured the suspect,
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24-year-old james holmes. officials then moved to secure the suspect's apartment. >> statements made by the subject himself, again, during his initial arrest indicated that he had explosive material at his house. >> reporter: doctors at the hospitals where the victims were taken were shaken. >> i don't know how you could be prepared for such a thing, but i think the staff did an excellent job. >> reporter: president obama scaled back campaign events in florida and called on the country to unite in support of the victims and their families. >> michelle and i will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and i'm sure you will do the same with your children. but for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation. >> reporter: leann greg, nbc news, aurora, colorado. right here in the bay error ya, we've talked to a long list
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of police officers about dh incident. many have stepped up controls around theaters and are urging people to call them if they see anything suspicious. other agencies are doing the same across the country. a spokesman for san francisco police stressing at this point they are increasing patrols merely to be extra cautious, and they believe at this point today's shooting in colorado is merely an isolated incident. they can expect quite a crowd at local theaters, experts projecting this new batman film will be breaking open weekend box office records. sticking with the story, there is a local connection to this case. you'll only see it right here on nbc. the suspect in this case, james holmes, he does have deep ties to california. he actually went to school, high school, that is, down in san diego, and this morning we have learned he has relatives on the central coast. the uncle of that colorado man spoke exclusively with nbc bay area's bob redell this morning. bob, he joins us live from monterey county with what his uncle had to say. bob, a very, very interesting story unfolding here.
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>> reporter: good morning to you, jon. we just spoke off camera with james holmes, who shares the same name as his nephew, the man who's accused of this mass shooting in colorado. we caught up with him at his home in caramel not far from where we're at right now just before he left in his car. the uncle tells us he found out about the massacre with a phone call from the media around 5:00 this morning. his reaction, he was blown away. he's shocked, surprised, and horrified by what happened. says there was nothing in his nephew's background that suggests he would do anything criminal. the uncle says his nephew, gymmy, as he's known, is, quote, a nerd, an unassuming kid. he's not very close to his nephew, sees him about once a year at thanksgiving. he didn't want to say too much to us, was concerned about causing problems for the family. he has spoken with his brother. wouldn't tell us much about that conversation. but his brother is the father, and he is on his way to colorado from his home in san diego while the mother is staying behind with family.
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now, we did ask the uncle to speak on camera with us to help balance out the story, paint a better picture of his nephew, to give his nephew a fair shake. the uncle replied, "he doesn't deserve that." and then he closed the screen door. reporting live in monterey, bob redell, nbc bay area news. well, we have crews from colorado to the central coast continuing to gather new information about the story, and we are streaming the latest press conferences from aurora online at join us from nbc bay area -- for nbc bay area news at 5:00 and 6:00 and check in at or on our facebook page all day for the latest details as they come in. well, still ahead, beware of what's in the water. the new warning along santa cruz beaches that could have you changing your weekend day at the beach.
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it is going to be a warm weekend, but you may want to skip the dip in the ocean, at least in santa cruz. this morning posted signs are warning swimmers to stay out of the water at a couple popular beaches. a 14-foot great white shark was spotted about 20 yards off of seascape in rio del mar beach around 2:00 yesterday afternoon. the shark apparently swam away but not before a pilot managed to snap a couple photos from the air as you just saw. now, the warning signs will stay up over the weekend advising visitors that swimming, surfing, and other water sports are not recommended. >> instead of enjoying synchronized swimming with a shark, maybe you want to jump in a pool this weekend. it will be cool and safe. christina loren has great weather for you. >> even a kiddie pool will do. good morning. temperatures are climbing quickly right now, and yes, this is the warmest day of the week so far. let's get right to your current conditions. we're at 78 degrees in fairfield, 75 in concord, headed towards the 90s in the warmest cities across the bay. your weather headlines tell the story as we head throughout this
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afternoon. plenty of sunshine. in fact, we have very little cloud and along the california coastline. even warmer as we head throughout the weekend. we'll make way to sunny finishes. the microclimb is really starting to differentiate in terms of temperatures. for today, this is what we're expecting, 90 degrees in san jose, 70 in san francisco, and hitting 77 degrees in oakland. comfortable along the peninsula, 82 in los gatos. here is your extended outlook. everyone wants to know what the weather holds for the weekend. if 93 is too hot for you inland, head to the bay, 86 there on saturday. 72 degrees at the coast. really comfortable conditions but i want to reinforce that fact. you want to stay out of the water in santa cruz which will be the warmest beach city. you're safer on the sand than in the surf this weekend. now as we head throughout next week, the humidity increases. we get a little bit of monsoonal moisture and take your temperatures down. back to you guys. >> okay, christina. thanks.
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we are continuing to follow the mas shooting in aurora, colorado. 24-year-old james holmes is in custody, killing 12 people, at least 12 people, injuring as many as 59 more. we have just learned from the police chief in aurora that more than 200 witnesses were on scene this morning when that happened, about 12:30 a.m. >> this scene taking place at the opening of a batman new movie in that trilogy. that was the midnight screening. and james holmes now in fbi custody, admitting to investigators he had more explosive weapons at his nearby apartment. hundreds of local and federal investigators searching that theater and his home as they try to figure out why or understand on any level why someone would pull something like this off. >> we are staying on the story for you all day long. find out the latest, join us tonight for the latest.
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