Police: Colo. suspect’s apartment booby trapped; five buildings evacuated

  • Emergency crews, including a bomb squad unit, surround the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora , Colo. The "water shot" is exploded and used to disrupt the device. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross)Emergency crews, including a bomb squad unit, surround the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora , Colo. The "water shot" is exploded and used to disrupt the device. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross)
  • People gather early morning July 20, 2012, outside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at the scene of a mass shooting in which 14 people were killed and 50 others were injured. Police said a gunman appeared at the front of the theater where the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing and opened fire. (Associated Press/The Denver Post)People gather early morning July 20, 2012, outside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at the scene of a mass shooting in which 14 people were killed and 50 others were injured. Police said a gunman appeared at the front of the theater where the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was playing and opened fire. (Associated Press/The Denver Post)
  • A police officer talks on his radio July 20, 2012, outside of the Century 16 theater at Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., where at least 14 people were killed and many injured at a shooting at the theater. (Associated Press)A police officer talks on his radio July 20, 2012, outside of the Century 16 theater at Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., where at least 14 people were killed and many injured at a shooting at the theater. (Associated Press)
  • This photo provided by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes. A university spokeswoman said Holmes, the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. (Associated Press/University of Colorado)This photo provided by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes. A university spokeswoman said Holmes, the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. (Associated Press/University of Colorado)
  • Police use a video camera July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., to look inside an apartment of the suspect in a shooting at a movie theater. As many as 12 people were killed and 50 injured at a shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora earlier that morning during the showing of the latest Batman movie. (Associated Press)Police use a video camera July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., to look inside an apartment of the suspect in a shooting at a movie theater. As many as 12 people were killed and 50 injured at a shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora earlier that morning during the showing of the latest Batman movie. (Associated Press)
  • Shamecca Davis hugs her son, Isaiah Bow, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. Bow, who was an eyewitness, left the theater during the shooting but went back in to find his girlfriend. "I didn't want to leave her in there. But she's OK now," Bow said. (Associated Press)Shamecca Davis hugs her son, Isaiah Bow, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. Bow, who was an eyewitness, left the theater during the shooting but went back in to find his girlfriend. "I didn't want to leave her in there. But she's OK now," Bow said. (Associated Press)
  • Judy Goos hugs her daughter's friend, Isaiah Bow, 20, while eyewitnesses Emma Goos (left), 19, and Terrell Wallin, 20, gather July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witnesses were brought for questioning after a gunman fired into a crowded movie theater, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)Judy Goos hugs her daughter's friend, Isaiah Bow, 20, while eyewitnesses Emma Goos (left), 19, and Terrell Wallin, 20, gather July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witnesses were brought for questioning after a gunman fired into a crowded movie theater, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)
  • Jacob Stevens, 18, hugs his mother Tammi Stevens after being interviewed July 20, 2012, by police outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a shooting at a movie theater. (Associated Press)Jacob Stevens, 18, hugs his mother Tammi Stevens after being interviewed July 20, 2012, by police outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a shooting at a movie theater. (Associated Press)
  • A small group prays July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning in regard to a gunman's rampage at a movie theater that left 12 dead and at least 50 others injured. (Associated Press)A small group prays July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning in regard to a gunman's rampage at a movie theater that left 12 dead and at least 50 others injured. (Associated Press)
  • A bomb disposal vehicle arrives July 21, 2012, near the Aurora , Colo., apartment of  James Holmes, the alleged gunman in an assault at a movie theater that left 12 dead and more than three dozen people injured. (Associated Press)A bomb disposal vehicle arrives July 21, 2012, near the Aurora , Colo., apartment of James Holmes, the alleged gunman in an assault at a movie theater that left 12 dead and more than three dozen people injured. (Associated Press)
  • Officers load bags of evidence into a car outside the Century 16 theater east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012. A shooting took place in the theater in which at least 12 people died and scores were injured during the premiere showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." (Associated Press)Officers load bags of evidence into a car outside the Century 16 theater east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012. A shooting took place in the theater in which at least 12 people died and scores were injured during the premiere showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." (Associated Press)
  • President Obama pauses July 20, 2012, during an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., for a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 people dead. (Associated Press)President Obama pauses July 20, 2012, during an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., for a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 people dead. (Associated Press)
  • People observe a moment of silence July 20, 2012, at an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., with President Obama for the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting. Obama, who was scheduled to spend the day campaigning in Florida, cancelled his campaign events to return to Washington to monitor the shooting. (Associated Press)People observe a moment of silence July 20, 2012, at an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., with President Obama for the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting. Obama, who was scheduled to spend the day campaigning in Florida, cancelled his campaign events to return to Washington to monitor the shooting. (Associated Press)
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leaves the stage July 20, 2012, in Bow, N.H., after making statement on the shootings in Colorado. (Associated Press)Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leaves the stage July 20, 2012, in Bow, N.H., after making statement on the shootings in Colorado. (Associated Press)
  • Tom Sullivan holds a photograph of his son, Alex,  outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012, as he pleads with the media to help him find his son. Alex Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday by attending midnight premiere of the Batman movie Friday night. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (Associated Press)Tom Sullivan holds a photograph of his son, Alex, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012, as he pleads with the media to help him find his son. Alex Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday by attending midnight premiere of the Batman movie Friday night. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (Associated Press)
  • Tom Sullivan (center) embraces family members July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. Sullivan was frantically searching for his son, Alex, who was celebrating his 27th birthday by going to see "The Dark Knight Rises," the movie where the gunman opened fire. (Associated Press)Tom Sullivan (center) embraces family members July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. Sullivan was frantically searching for his son, Alex, who was celebrating his 27th birthday by going to see "The Dark Knight Rises," the movie where the gunman opened fire. (Associated Press)
  • Tom Sullivan (center) stands with family members July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)Tom Sullivan (center) stands with family members July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)
  • People use mobile devices July 20, 2012, as they wait outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)People use mobile devices July 20, 2012, as they wait outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)
  • A woman cries July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)A woman cries July 20, 2012, outside Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others. (Associated Press)
  • A SWAT team officer stands watch July 20, 2012,  in Aurora, Colo., near an apartment house where the suspect in a shooting at a movie theater lived. As many as 14 people were killed and 50 injured at a shooting at the Century 16 movie theater during the showing of the latest Batman movie. (Associated Press)A SWAT team officer stands watch July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., near an apartment house where the suspect in a shooting at a movie theater lived. As many as 14 people were killed and 50 injured at a shooting at the Century 16 movie theater during the showing of the latest Batman movie. (Associated Press)
  • Maria Davila holds her daughter Alexia, 9, during a candlelight vigil on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., across the street from the movie theater where a gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. (Associated Press)Maria Davila holds her daughter Alexia, 9, during a candlelight vigil on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., across the street from the movie theater where a gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. (Associated Press)
  • Marietta Perkins falls to her knees in sorrow and prayer July 20, 2012, at a vigil in Aurora, Colo., across the street from the movie theater where 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault during a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight." (Associated Press)Marietta Perkins falls to her knees in sorrow and prayer July 20, 2012, at a vigil in Aurora, Colo., across the street from the movie theater where 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault during a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight." (Associated Press)
  • Members of law enforcement wearing body armor and helmets prepare to what ATF sources describe as a"water shot" in the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora , Colo. The "water shot" is exploded and used to disrupt the device. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Members of law enforcement wearing body armor and helmets prepare to what ATF sources describe as a"water shot" in the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora , Colo. The "water shot" is exploded and used to disrupt the device. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Firefighters and police gather after an explosion could be heard outside the apartment of James Holmes in Aurora, Colo., Saturday, July 21, 2012. Federal authorities detonated one small explosive and disarmed another inside Holmes' apartment, but several other explosive devices remained, said Aurora police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at a packed movie theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified Holmes, 24, as the suspected shooter. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)Firefighters and police gather after an explosion could be heard outside the apartment of James Holmes in Aurora, Colo., Saturday, July 21, 2012. Federal authorities detonated one small explosive and disarmed another inside Holmes' apartment, but several other explosive devices remained, said Aurora police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at a packed movie theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified Holmes, 24, as the suspected shooter. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

AURORA, Colo. — Police said Friday that the suspected gunman in the movie theater massacre rigged his north Aurora apartment with explosives before he killed 12 people at a midnight showing of the latest “Batman” movie.

“His apartment is apparently booby-trapped,” said Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates. “We have pictures inside the location, and we’re trying to decide how to disarm the flammable or explosive material that’s in there.”

Police, working with the FBI and fire department, said it could take days to enter the apartment in order to gather evidence in the shooting case. They used cranes from fire trucks to take photos from the window of the third-story apartment.

“We could be here for hours, we could be here for days,” Chief Oates said. “The pictures are pretty disturbing; it looks pretty sophisticated in terms of how it’s booby-trapped.”

Authorities evacuated five buildings in the immediate area Friday morning. Aurora deputy fire chief Chris Henderson said firefighters were ready to react in the event of an explosion.

“If we end up doing the detonation, we’re standing by to mitigate any kind of fires,” Chief Henderson said.

Several news organizations identified the suspect as 24-year-old James Holmes, who was being held in police custody in connection with the massacre.

Chief Oates said the gunman was in police custody after he threw at least one gas canister into the crowded theater and began shooting about 15 minutes after the midnight show began.

Jacque Montgomery, spokeswoman for University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, said Mr. Holmes was a student at the school until last month. She did not know when he started school or why he withdrew.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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