Massacre Suspect James Holmes Worked As Summer Camp Counselor For Underprivileged Children
James Holmes, who is suspected of opening fire at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Colorado, once worked as a summer camp counselor for underprivileged children in the hills just above Glendale.He spent the summer of 2008 teaching children how to "learn confidence, self-esteem and how to work in small teams to effect positive outcomes" through archery, horseback riding and other activities, camp directors told The Los Angeles Times. He was responsible for approximately 10 children. Randy Schwab, chief executive of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, says there were no strange incidents or disciplinary problems: "That summer provided the kids a wonderful camp experience without incident." (UPDATE: Here's a photo of him at the camp.)
Many of who knew him described him as shy, introverted and incredibly bright, according to CBS. He graduated at the top of his class at UC Riverside as neuroscience major and had gone on to do graduate work at the University of Colorado. It seemed that he was following in the footsteps of his parents who were accomplished in the sciences, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Some of his classmates and professors described him as a loner, although they would not have predicted he would grow up to be a dangerous mass-murderer. After all, Holmes' only brush with the law was a speeding ticket.
Anthony Mai, 16, lived next door to the Holmes family in a bedroom community north of San Diego and he told the Union-Tribune: "This is just a feeling in my gut but I felt like he had something, like he was being picked on or something."
Holmes completed a biotechnology "boot camp" at Miramar College in 2006 after he graduated from high school, but a fellow student Claire Sampankanpanich told the Union-Tribune he wasn't very friendly: "He didn’t talk to a lot of us, but when he did he was kind of a smart aleck. He didn’t want to work with any of us."
But Holmes seemed to be on a downward spiral when he ended up in Aurora, according to the New York Post. He was in the process of dropping out of grad school, and he was making jokes about going to jail as he trolled for sex online. But perhaps the biggest clue that something was awry in his life was his mother's reaction to an ABC reporter's query after the shooting occurred: “You have the right person,” she said. "I need to call the police . . . I need to fly out to Colorado.”
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Dark Knight Rises Massacre: At Least 12 Killed, 50 Wounded At Colorado Movie Theater
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