James Holmes “Was Very Relaxed” After Shooting

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 7 2013 5:16 PM

Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Suspect “Was Very Relaxed,” “Seemed Out of It”

152428436
James Holmes poses for a booking photo September 20, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado

Photo by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

Police officers who arrested the man suspected of killing a dozen people during a midnight showing of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colo., on July 20 reported that he “seemed out of it.” On the first day of testimony in the preliminary hearing about the case, the police officer who first discovered James Holmes behind the theater said Holmes appeared to understand everything that was asked and complied with requests from officials, reports the Denver Post. "He was very relaxed," Officer Jason Oviatt testified. "It was like there weren't normal emotional responses." Holmes was "just standing there," Oviatt said. "Not doing anything. Not in any hurry. Not excited. Not urgent about anything."

Oviatt testified that when he first saw Holmes he thought he was an officer because of all the body armor he was wearing. He added that Holmes was dripping with sweat and his pupils were wide open, reports the Associated Press. Holmes, sporting a full beard and his natural dark brown hair, showed no visible emotion or reaction to any of the testimony, notes Reuters. It is widely expected that Holmes will eventually plead not guilty by reason of insanity, particularly considering that many of the questions from the attorneys on both sides seemed to try to frame the suspect’s state of mind right after the shooting.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.