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Colorado shooting suspect due in court Monday

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 23 2012 04:23:43 AM CDT
Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes

Courtesy University of Colorado-Denver

AURORA, Colo. -

The suspect in the Colorado movie theater shooting has his first court appearance later this morning. Meanwhile, investigators say James Holmes refuses to talk with authorities.

Aurora, Colorado's police chief says Holmes has ``lawyered up.''

The 24-year-old suspect in the Colorado theater shooting spent months stockpiling thousands of bullets and ballistic gear without raising any red flags with authorities.

Authorities say that's because Holmes availed himself of the Internet. That unregulated marketplace allows consumers to acquire some of the tools of modern warfare as if they were pieces of a new wardrobe.

Dudley Brown is the executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a group that advocates for firearms owners' rights. He notes that Americans are allowed to possess some of the equipment that the military generally has.

Gun rights activists like Brown celebrate that freedom, but even some involved in the trade are troubled by how easily Holmes stocked up for his alleged rampage.

Authorities say all of Holmes' purchases were legal -- and there is no official system to track whether people are stockpiling vast amounts of firepower.

Law enforcement officials say lone gunmen like the suspect in the Colorado theater massacre are the stuff of bad dreams, because they're generally invisible until it's too late.

Officials say such attackers often have no criminal record, keep quiet about their plans and acquire weapons legally.

Law enforcement officials say it's nearly impossible to stop someone like James Holmes, the 24-year-old former graduate student who's accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.

The threat of the lone offender has become such a concern that the FBI in 2009 created a task force to identify common behavioral traits and characteristics.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says this year there've been 22 mass shootings.