During a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, 12 people were murdered and 59 more wounded by 24-year-old James Holmes, who opened fire in the crowded theater. It’s been one of the top headlining stories among the entertainment media today, with several news correspondents speculating about the cause and motive.
At 9:00 a.m. EST today, CNN hosted several guests during the news cycle, including criminal profiler Pat Brown, who theorized that Holmes was likely driven by an addiction to video games.
Although she stressed that video games alone don’t “make” people into criminals like Holmes, she theorized that given his age, he likely fits the profile of someone who’s ‘gotten into a killing mode’ with the aid of their violence:
“He’s probably prepared for this for a long time, just obsessing over it, gathering his weapons. [He] probably spent a lot of time in his apartment, playing one video game after the other—shooting, shooting, shooting—building up his courage and building up the excitement of when it’s going to be real for him. And it’s made his day.”
Mediaite has more transcription from CNN’s broadcast:
“This has been something he has really been into. And now we’re going to find, probably on [Facebook] or anybody who knows him will say, ‘Yeah, he did have a lot of interest in that. He was always playing the video games. And I’m not saying video games make you a killer. But if you’re a psychopath, video games help you get in the mode to do the killing.
So it is a problem in our society with teenaged psychopaths, that they do get inspired by this and want to make it real. So it is a danger but it doesn’t make you a psycho.”
Pat Brown, a published criminologist and master’s degree graduate in criminal justice from Boston University, is a regular guest on CNN and has consulted the news group for several years, providing forensic analysis and commentary on several criminal events.
According to CNN, James Holmes told police that he was “The Joker” and had painted his hair red prior to the mass shooting. Holmes was apprehended shorty afterward, and currently remains in custody. Holmes’ apartment in Aurora, Colorado was booby-trapped when it was infiltrated by law enforcement. Currently, an investigation is being conducted by the FBI and local police.