(CNN) — The suspect in the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater screening of the new Batman film early Friday had colored his hair red and told police he was “the Joker,” according to a federal law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.
At least 12 people were killed in the rampage and 59 were wounded.
A mug shot of James E. Holmes has not been released. Witnesses to the shooting described him as wearing a gas mask that concealed much of his face and head. But the federal law enforcement source’s information about the suspect’s appearance fits with a statement from New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was briefed by Colorado authorities Friday.
The Joker has long been a fixture in Batman comics and was famously brought to life by the late Heath Ledger in 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” the predecessor to Friday’s release of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for his sinister portrayal of the iconic villain who encourages anarchists to take over Gotham City.
Meanwhile, authorities were faced with the difficult task of entering Holmes’ Aurora apartment, which was left rigged with traps.
“It’s booby-trapped with various incendiary and chemical devices and trip wires,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said, adding that it could take days to work through the apartment safely.
Five buildings around the apartment building were evacuated, Oates said.
Investigators don’t expect a decision until Saturday about entering the apartment and what to do about the explosives inside, according to a law enforcement source.