Saturday, December 27, 2014

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Colorado Shooting Victims Identified; Bloomberg Calls For Stronger Gun Restrictions

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TWC News: Colorado Shooting Victims Identified: Obama To Meet With Families
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Officials in Aurora have identified all 12 of the victims killed in Friday's deadly shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.

According to officials, the youngest victim was 6 years old, while the oldest was 51 years old.

Hospital officials said at least seven of the wounded are still in critical condition, while others have injuries that are likely permanent.

David Jackson, the stepfather of 27-year-old victim Matt McQuinn, spoke out Saturday.

McQuinn was killed while shielding his girlfriend and her brother from the gunfire.

"It's not surprising that his first thought was her," Jackson said. "That's what a man does. He protects his loved ones. And I'm very proud of him. I'm going to miss him."

The mother of 6-year-old victim Veronica Moser is still in the hospital.

Ashley Moser was shot in the neck and stomach and has not yet been told about her daughter's death.

Meanwhile, University of Colorado officials are looking into whether shooting suspect James Holmes used his position as a graduate student to order materials to assemble booby traps in his apartment.

Police said Holmes received deliveries over four months to his home and school.

University officials are looking into the packages received at the school.

Holmes abruptly withdrew from the university's PHD neuroscience program earlier this summer.

A gun range owner in Colorado said Holmes applied to join his gun range last month but said that Holmes did not become a member.

He went on to say that Holmes never responded to his repeated messages to attend a mandatory orientation and that Holmes' answering machine had a bizarre, freakish message with guttural sounds.

Holmes is expected to be arraigned Monday in connection with the shooting, which took place during a midnight showing at the new Batman movie at a crowded movie theater in Aurora.

12 people were killed and 58 others injured.

Investigators said Holmes had to switch weapons during his attack because the semi-automatic rifle he was using jammed.

He is due to be arraigned Monday.

Authorities said all of the hazards inside Holmes' booby-trapped apartment are now removed.

The hazards were taken to a disposal site outside Aurora.

Crews exploded the chemicals, then burned what's left of the explosives in a trench with diesel fuel.

Investigators are also sending evidence to FBI headquarters at Quantico, Virginia.

Bomb experts used a "water shot," a device that emits a shock wave and water, to disarm one of the improvised explosive devices planted inside the apartment Saturday.

They've also covered the apartment's windows to prevent anyone from peering in.

Residents in Holmes' building remain evacuated but tenants in the surrounding buildings can return home.

Aurora officials said they are getting help from counselors with the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department.

Elected officials are beginning to address the gun control issue in wake of the Colorado shooting.

Speaking on "Face the Nation" Sunday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he wants specific proposals from President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney on how they would combat gun violence.

"This really is an enormous problem for the country and it's up to these two presidential candidates," he said. "They want to lead this country and they've said things before that they're in favor of banning things like assault weapons. Where are they now, and why don't they stand up? And if they want our votes, they better."

"We've been looking at the shootings all across the country and trying to say 'how do we preserve our freedoms' and all those things that define this country," said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. "And yet, try to prevent something like this happening. And let me tell you, there's no easy answer."

Mayor Bloomberg said Congress has passed reasonable restrictions on guns but it's up to the country to enforce the laws.

Movie-goers will continue to see more police at theaters around the city this weekend.

Extra officers are patrolling the 40 theaters showing "The Dark Knight Rises."

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the increased security is meant to calm fears and prevent any copycat incidents.

Most screenings of the movie sold out Saturday.

Movie-goers we spoke with say the Colorado shooting doesn't scare them.

"Well, if anything, I think people should fill up the theaters, just to show that this kind of stuff, while it's horrible, doesn't phase us," said one. "Especially New Yorkers."

"I don't think that should stop people from living and enjoying life," said another. "I mean, that was a tragedy that happened. But it shouldn't keep people living in fear."

Warner Brothers said it will not release the box office totals for "The Dark Knight Rises" until Monday out of respect for the shooting victims.

Other studios are also delaying their box office reports as well. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP