In the wake of the shooting that occurred in Aurora, Colorado last night at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, rumors, theories, and unchecked speculation have been floating around the internet. ABC correspondent Brian Ross reported earlier today that James Holmes, the 24-year-old man who was arrested for the shooting, may be a member of the Tea Party.
Ross made the connection that the man police arrested, James Holmes, had the same name as a 52-year-old member of the Tea Party.
“There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colo.”
Well, it turns out that Jim Holmes, 52, is not the same person as James Holmes, 24.
After Ross’ report, the Colorado Tea Party posted a message to its website.
“The attempts of some media organizations to characterize the shooter as a Tea Party member without having made any effort to contact our organization are shameless and reprehensible.”
After a bit of backlash, Ross and ABC News apologized for the report.
“An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.”
Twelve people died during the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and the nation is anxious to find out the details. But jumping to conclusions is only going to get people hurt. Earlier today, a man on Facebook received death threats for, again, having the same name as James Holmes.
If you want to know about the real James Holmes, here is all that we know so far.