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Suspect In Colo. Theater Massacre Graduated From UC Riverside In 2010

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — CBS2 has confirmed that the suspect in Friday morning's shooting massacre at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater graduated from UC Riverside.

According to the university's online alumni directory, James Eagen Holmes graduated 2010 with a degree in neuroscience.

Holmes, 24, is suspected in an overnight shooting at a movie theater that left 12 people dead and another 59 injured.

"It's surprising that there's these types of people are all over, including from our school," UC Riverside student, Pamela Hsi, told CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Greg Mills.

Friday's shooting took place at 12:30 a.m. during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Town Center Century 16 theater.

Authorities say Holmes — who allegedly used a rifle, shotgun and handgun — killed 10 people inside the theater complex. Two others died after they were taken from the scene.

A 3-month-old was among the dozens who were hurt, but the baby was treated and released from the hospital.

Holmes, who acted alone and was taken into custody following the shooting, had been enrolled in a doctoral program in Denver.

"The University of Colorado Denver|Aschutz Medical Campus can confirm that Mr. James Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the University of Colorado Denver's graduate program in neurosciences," the university said in a statement.

Holmes, who graduated from Westview High School in San Diego in 1996, occasionally returned to Rancho Penasquitos to visit family, KNX 1070's Tom Reopelle reports.


"We're asking that all the members of the media respect the privacy, not only of the family, but of the entire neighborhood," San Diego Police Lt. Andrea Brown said Friday. "The family does not wish to be disturbed at this time...this tragic event. And we're asking for privacy at this time."

Holmes has no criminal history, but officials in Aurora say he was pulled over for a traffic violation in October of 2011.

Authorities are attempting to enter his nearby apartment, which has been booby-trapped. An additional firearm was found in his car, which was parked outside of the movie theater.

Friday night, CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Edward Lawrence spoke to people who knew James Holmes when he was a UC Riverside student.

They remembered Holmes as quiet but Lawrence says it was more what Holmes didn't do that made the most lasting impression.

Ashan Yapa, a student, lived in the same apartment complex. Lawrence asked him if he saw Holmes come and go. "Yeah," he said, "I seen him many times because he's there."

Yapa said everyone in the complex hung out by the pool. But not Holmes. "We were looking for native speakers,  because we are new to this country and we always to go people to talk, you know."

Yapa said Holmes would usually only give them a "hello or goodbye."

Lawrence heard from many who said Holmes kept to himself. A former study group partner remembered Holmes for always playing video games, Guitar Hero and Mario Kart.

The school will have grief counselors on hand to help anyone who knew Holmes.


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