UK & World News
Denver Shooting Suspect Refuses To Co-Operate
The man arrested after the shooting spree which killed 12 people in a Colorado cinema is refusing to co-operate with law enforcement officers ahead of his first court appearance, police sources say.
James Holmes, a postgraduate student who police say bought guns and stockpiled 6,000 rounds of ammunition in the months leading up to the attack, is being held in solitary confinement, for his own protection.
TV cameras will be allowed into the courtroom at the Arapahoe County Justice Centre - next to the jail where he is detained - but it is not known if he will say anything during the short hearing, which will be broadcast live on Sky News at around 4.30pm BST.
The actual trial is months away, but many will hope the court appearance may give some insight into what lay behind the massacre as police have so far refused to discuss any possible motivation.
Police are hoping a computer inside Holmes' booby-trapped apartment could provide details of how the attack at a screening of the latest Batman movie was planned and carried out.
It has also emerged that Holmes applied to join a private gun club a few weeks before the shooting but was not approved.
As with Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, it would appear that he wanted to be caught and put on trial. Holmes was wearing protective body armour and did not resist arrest.
Unlike Norway, Colorado has the death penalty and the District Attorney is likely to seek his execution if convicted.
Police in New York have said Holmes referred to himself as "The Joker" - Batman's arch nemesis in the comic books and the films - on the evening of the attack.
However, the father of Heath Ledger, who played the character in the first instalment of the trilogy, said neither the actor nor The Joker character were to blame.
"It's fictitious. I don't know what this does to the character," Kim Ledger told Australia's Herald Sun. "I think that's the least of my worries. I'd be more worried about the families and other people involved in the tragedy.
"The guy's obviously a nut case. He has obviously lost it. I think what America should be doing is restricting the availability of ammunition or revisiting their gun laws - that's what they should be doing."
Last night, thousands of people gathered in Aurora to remember the victims and survivors of the gun massacre.
Although many were grieving the loss of close friends and family members, there was a strong sense of community spirit.
Police officers were cheered, and the loudest applause of the service was when the Colorado governor John Hickenlooper referred to the gunman but told the crowd: "I refuse to say his name."
As each of the 12 victims' names was read out, those present said "we will remember" in unison.
The vigil took place less than an hour after President Barack Obama had flown in aboard Air Force One to individually meet bereaved families.
"I come to them not so much as President as I do as a father and as a husband," he said and described the shooting incident as an "evil act".
But he said the attention surrounding the shooter "will fade away and in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy".
In an emotional appearance in front of reporters, Mr Obama recounted a story he had been told by 19-year-old Allie Young and her friend Stephanie Davies.
"When the gunman initially came in and threw the canisters, he threw them only a few feet away from Allie and Stephanie who were sitting there watching the film," he said.
"Allie stood up seeing that she might need to do something or at least warn the other people who were there... and she was shot in the neck and it punctured a vein and immediately she started squirting blood.
"Apparently as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie, 21, had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where Allie had been wounded and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting."
Mr Obama said that although Allie told Stephanie she needed to run, Stephanie refused to go and instead called 911 with her free hand on her mobile phone.
Once the police arrived and the shooter had been apprehended, Stephanie then helped others to carry Allie across two car parks to the ambulance.
"And because of Stephanie's timely actions, I just had a conversation with Allie downstairs and she is going to be fine," Mr Obama said.
"I don't know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did or the courage that Allie showed.
"And so as tragic the circumstances of what we've seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families, it's worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie," he said.
"Because they represent what's best in us and they assure us that out of this darkness, a brighter day is going to come."
Earlier in the day Greg Zanis erected 12 white crosses bearing the names of those who died close to the scene of the shooting.
He drove 16 hours from Illinois, and did the same thing in 1999 when 13 were shot dead at the nearby Columbine High School.
But his display of humanity does not extend to James Holmes, the man accused of the killings.
He told Sky News: "This guy is going to be tormenting these families for the next five years every time they go to court. It wasn't much more than 100 years ago that we would have just taken the guy out and hanged him.
"I'll do it for you if you want. Just get rid of him. Don't give him the publicity. We know he did it."