One thing that still continues to shock about Friday's massacre in Colorado is that the suspect, James Holmes, apparently bought his equipment legally, including 6,000 rounds of ammunition and a 100-round magazine. While investigators explore whether he used his position at the University of Colorado to obtain any of the chemicals for the booby traps he's said to have rigged in his apartment, it's become clear that the gear he allegedly used in the mass shooting was purchased largely from online stores.
The Associated Press noted that Holmes had received 50 packages at home and school and The Times' Jack Healy reported that he "ordered a Blackhawk Urban Assault Vest, a knife and two magazine holders," from sites like Tactical Gear. He also bought "3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police." A 100-round magazine (at left) for the AR-15 he allegedly used (pictured above), itself an assault rifle formerly banned by the federal government, goes for $144.11 on a site called Cheaper than Dirt. Police found one such magazine in the theater. He also allegedly had a 12-gauge shotgun, two .40-caliber Glock pistols, and a full suit of body armor, which made him nearly indistinguishable from the SWAT team members who responded to the shooting, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said on Face the Nation on Sunday. Police also found a Batman mask in his apartment, the AP reported. Holmes, who reportedly told police he was The Joker, but has since stopped talking, is due for his first court appearance on Monday at 9:30 a.m., Mountain Time.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.