SAN DIEGO - Police are holding a former medical student who they say barged into a crowded movie theater near Denver last night, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire.
The suspect is identified as 24-year-old James Holmes. A spokeswoman for the University of Colorado School of Medicine says he dropped out last month. Officials say they haven't found any links to terrorist groups.
New York City's police commissioner says the gunman had painted his hair red and called himself the Joker -- the villain from the Batman movies.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday that he had been briefed about the shootings that killed 12 and wounded nearly 60 others at a showing of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" at a suburban Denver theater.
Kelly and his spokesman did not say who briefed him.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates would not confirm the information about suspected gunman James Holmes, but confirmed he had spoken to Kelly. The two used to work together in New York.
One woman who was in the theater says she felt bullet casings falling on her head, burning her forehead. She says the shooter fired steadily, except when he stopped to reload.
A federal law enforcement official says the shooter had an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols.
Authorities are now searching his apartment, a few miles from the theater. They say they found it to be booby-trapped. They've evacuated five buildings as they try to determine how to disarm flammable and explosive material.
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