updated - May 20, 2013 Monday EDT
James Holmes, the suspected Colorado movie mass murderer at "The Dark Knight Rises" midnight premiere, was a college dropout and before going on the killing spree, he dyed his brown hair red as a tribute to Batman's arch-nemesis the Joker, according to reports.
James Holmes said "he was the Joker, enemy of Batman" after he was taken into custody, NY Daily News reports. Holmes killed 12 movie goers and injuring 50 more in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater early Friday morning. He withdrew abruptly last month from a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school and neighbors described him as a "loner" and reclusive type who ignored other residents when they said hello. Holmes lived in three-floor apartment in the Denver suburb of North Aurora - about four miles from the theater where the killings occurred.
Holmes is originally from San Diego, California and moved to Colorado to study. San Diego police read a statement from Holmes' California family saying that their hearts go out to those involved.
A San Diego, Calif., woman who identified herself as Holmes' mother told ABC News she had not yet been contacted by authorities. She said she was unaware of the shooting and expressed concern that her son may have been involved.
"You have the right person," she said, apparently speaking on instinct and not second-guessing her son would be involved. "I need to call the police ... I need to fly out to Colorado."
Holmes, 24, was dressed in all black and had on a gas mask, when he raided the movie theater. Some movie goers thought the smoke was part of the movies special effects, according to Associated Press. Holmes is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication that incident is tied to any terrorist groups.
Holmes is described as a white male who is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, born on Dec. 13, 1987, authorities said. He has no significant criminal record and it is suspected he acted alone.
The "The Dark Knight Rises" movie shooting is the state's worst since the 1999 massacre just 13 miles away in which 13 were killed and 23 injured at Littleton's Columbine High School.
Celebrities have taken to Twitter to share their condolences over the tragedy. Cheryl Burke tweets, "My heart goes out to all the families and victims in Aurora, Colorado. This is insane!" "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria tweeted, "My heart goes out to all the people affected in the Aurora, Colorado shooting. May God be with that town and their families."
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