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Authorities Make Progress In Efforts To Disarm Alleged Colorado Shooter's Apartment; Security Still High At NYC Theaters

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Officials said Saturday afternoon that they had made substantial progress in removing the booby traps from the apartment of the Colorado theater shooting suspect.

A team of bomb experts from the FBI described James Holmes' apartment as a potential killing field.

Although the threat of his booby-trapped apartment has not been eliminated, experts say it's been reduced.

Explosives experts used a robot to get into the apartment. Once it disarmed the booby-trap at the door, it began a slow methodical process of disarming and neutralizing improvised explosive devices and containers with accelerants and other unknown substances.

A law enforcement source tells the Associated Press officers disarmed one explosive with a "water shot," a device that emits a shock wave and water.

Earlier, crews started defusing some of the devices.

Investigators said they are sending the devices, including volatile liquids, to the FBI labs in Virginia, adding that they were dealing with a dangerous environment.

"Make no mistake, this apartment was designed, I say, based on everything I've seen, to kill whoever entered it," said Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates. "And who was most likely to enter that location after he planned and executed this horrific crime? A police officer. So make no mistake about what was going on in there. If you think we're angry about that, we sure as hell are angry."

"We still have bomb technicians and evidence response recovery folks that literally have to go in there and handle unknown substances with potentially explosive and incendiary outcomes," said James Yacone, the FBI Special Agent in charge.

Police say Holmes has spent the last six months legally stockpiling weapons and ammunition. They discovered a large number of deliveries were made to his home and work address.

The bomb experts hope to be finished removing evidence from Holmes apartment by Saturday evening.

Police are hoping people evacuated from surrounding buildings will be allowed to return home Saturday evening.

FDNY counselors are in Aurora assisting local first responders.

Doctors at the Medical Center of Aurora are still treating seven of the victims.

They say the victims are doing "fairly well."

Four of them are in the intensive care unit but one patient could be moved to the hospital's main trauma floor Saturday.

The injuries are not considered immediately life-threatening.

"Some of the shock is settling down or going away," said Linda Kanamine, the vice president of communications for Health One. "Some of the patients are starting to realize what really went on. So day two is a pivotal day for them and, you know, they are beginning their recover process."

Meanwhile, two more of the 12 victims killed in the shooting have been identified.

They are six-year-old Veronica Moser and 27-year-old Matt McQuinn.

McQuinn died after diving in front of his girlfriend and her brother to shield them from the gunfire.

58 others were injured in the shooting.

The youngest wounded gunshot victims is only three months old, according to the Associated Press.

The 24-year-old Holmes is due to be arraigned Monday morning.

Federal law enforcement officials said Holmes allegedly entered and fired in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at about 12:30 a.m. local time Friday.

Investigators said Holmes was wearing a gas mask and body armor and was carrying a used assault rifle, a shotgun and a glock handgun during the attack. He had also painted his hair red to look more like Batman's arch-rival, the Joker.

They said he set off gas canisters.

Officials said Holmes was a graduate student at the University of Colorado studying neuroscience but was in the process of withdrawing from the program.

Cellphone video posted on YouTube showed movie-goers running from the theater.

The motive for the shooting is not clear but the FBI said they believe Holmes acted alone and added that there is no indication the shooting is tied to any terrorist groups.

Some in the audience believed it was a stunt that was part of the show.

"We were watching a scene in the movie. It was a shootout scene. There were guns firing, and then loud bangs came from the right of the theater. Smoke took over the entire theater and everything, and it was really thick, and no one could really see anything. Me and my sister were sitting there wondering what was going on," said an eyewitness.

"When we got out of the building, it was just chaos. You saw injured people. There was this one guy who was on all fours, crawling. There was this girl spitting up blood, there were bullet holes in some people's backs," said another eyewitness.

Law enforcement officers later found the gunman near a car behind the theater.

Officials said Holmes was a grad student at the University of Colorado studying neuroscience but was in the process of withdrawing from the program.

He grew up in the San Diego area and there's no indication that he's tied to any terrorist group. Authorities said Holmes had no criminal record outside of a speeding ticket.

Oates, the Aurora police chief, is a former member of the NYPD. He joined the department in 1980 and began his career as a street officer, eventually rising under Police Commissioner Kelly in Mayor David Dinkins' administration.

Oates worked in the department's legal division and attended New York Law School.

He left the city police force in 2001 as executive deputy chief in the Brooklyn South command.

The new Batman movie is expected to draw huge crowds this weekend and the NYPD is taking extra steps to keep movie-goers safe.

Police officers are posted outside 40 city theaters showing "The Dark Knight Rises."

Kelly said the extra police presence is meant to calm fears as well as boost safety.

"We are just concerned someone perhaps seeking notoriety will attempt to do something similar. I know that is the general public concern. We always hear that with a high-profile event happens," he said.

AMC Theaters is also taking steps to make their venues safer.

The nation's second-largest theater chain says it will no longer allow people to wear face-covering masks or bring fake weapons into the movies.

28-year-old Brooklyn resident Christopher Rapoza, a member of the band The Toothaches, was one of the wounded in the shooting.

On his Facebook page, Rapoza said a bullet grazed his back after a "psycho" started spraying the crowd inside the movie theater with bullets. He posted this photo of himself at the hospital on another social media site.

He told fans that he and a friend "are both still a little rattled but in good spirits at the moment. Physically, I feel fine but none worse for the wear. Mostly we are concerned for the victims and their families that didn't have it so easy."

In his weekly radio show Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg put pressure on the presidential candidates to lay out their plans to end gun violence.

The mayor said President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney need to start making decisions on how to combat gun violence across the country.

"You know, soothing words are nice but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. And everybody always says, ‘Isn’t it tragic,’ and you know, we look for was the guy, as you said, maybe trying to recreate Batman. I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it’s just got to stop," Bloomberg said. "This is a real problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities – specifically what are they going to do about guns?"

Addressing a crowd in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday, President Barack Obama said that the shooting was a reminder that "we are united as one American family."

After Obama said, "There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection," the crowd loudly cheered. The president then asked the crowd to contemplate the "acts of violence that plague our communities every single day."

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was in New Hampshire for a campaign speech, also set politics aside to offer his prayers and condolences for the families of the victims Friday.

"Ann and I join the President and First Lady and all Americans in offering our deepest condolences for those whose lives were shattered a in a few moments," Romney said.

Both presidential candidates chose to pull down negative advertising in light of the attack.

Around the city, people going to see "The Dark Knight Rises" were not too concerned but welcomed the extra security for the most part.

"I don't expect worldwide shootings over this at movie theaters," said one. "I'm just going to enjoy the movie and that's it."

"You don't want to think about something like that," said another. "Especially in the dark. You don't know what's going on. But hopefully I'm OK down here in Manhattan."

Others said the Colorado shooting is another sad reminder of the danger of guns in the wrong hands.

"You always hear some crazy shooter comes into a place you're supposed to be safe," said another. "You can never really be fully safe in the end."

Tyler Dean Flores, who stars in the dark night rises as an orphan, brought his family out to see the movie Friday. He said the shooting is a horrible tragedy that's almost unbelievable.

"I really felt bad. My heart goes out to those families," he said. "It's just so insane. I can't believe somebody would do that to innocent people."

"The Dark Knight Rises" director Christopher Nolan called the shooting a savage and devastating act and a senseless tragedy.

The movie's distributor, Warner Brothers, tweeted it is deeply saddened and that its sympathies go out to the victims' families.

In light of the shooting in Colorado, Warner Brothers canceled red carpet and press events with stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Japan and Mexico.

The stars and filmmakers were scheduled to attend an event in Mexico City on Monday.

A premiere in Paris was cancelled Friday.

NYPD officers will more than likely be stationed at theaters throughout the weekend but the police commissioner said the threat of any violence will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Obama, Romney Comment On Colorado Shooting

View President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's full comments on the Colorado shooting at separate pre-planned Friday campaign events.
TWC News: Authorities Make Progress In Efforts To Disarm Alleged Colorado Shooter's Apartment; Security Still High At NYC Theaters
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