The Colorado shooting at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises is considered one of the worst mass murders in United States history. But consider this: authorities are now saying that it actually could have been far worse.
The military AR-15 assault rifle that shooter James Holmes used to massacre movie-goers on Friday apparently malfunctioned during the incident, reports NY Daily. The assault weapon is capable of firing between 50 and 60 rounds per minute, and Holmes had it modified with an extended drum magazine, meaning that he could have “stood in the front of the cinema and raked the rows of seated filmgoers had the gun not jammed.”
The jamming forced Holmes to switch to his 12-gauge shotgun, and according to surgeons, 58 gunshot victims (a majority of those injured) were shot with the shotgun – not the assault rifle.
Another twist in the case was also revealed Sunday. Though early reports suggested that Holmes was found at his car behind the Aurora theater after the shooting, and that he did not resist arrest, now authorities are saying that Holmes may have been attempting to slip away disguised as a SWAT team member – and that he nearly succeeded in doing so.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said that Holmes was actually dressed in all black, wearing equipment that would have allowed him to be mistaken as a SWAT officer. One officer found a piece of Holmes’ equipment irregular, and questioned him, reports the Washington Post. Oates wouldn’t say which piece gave Holmes away and refused to detail the incident further, only saying that it lead to Holmes’ arrest.
Holmes is currently awaiting his first court appearance, scheduled for Monday.