Colorado suspect was brilliant science student

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Associated Press

Posted on July 20, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 20 at 9:01 PM

DENVER (AP) — James Eagan Holmes came from a well-tended San Diego enclave of two-story homes with red-tiled roofs, where neighbors recall him as a clean-cut, studious young man of sparing words.

Tall and dark-haired, he stares clear-eyed at the camera in a 2004 high school yearbook snapshot, wearing a white junior varsity soccer uniform. The son of a nurse and a software company manager, Holmes was a brilliant science scholar in college.

The biggest mystery surrounding the 24-year-old doctoral student is why he would have pulled on a gas mask and shot dozens of people in a suburban Denver movie theater, as police allege.

In the age of widespread social media, no trace of Holmes could be found anywhere on the web. Either he never engaged, or he scrubbed his trail.

Holmes enrolled last year in a neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver but was in the process of withdrawing, according to school officials, who didn't provide a reason.

Holmes is not talking to police and has asked for a lawyer, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

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APPHOTO NY212: This photo provided by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes. University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery says 24-year-old Holmes, who police say is the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. Holmes is suspected of shooting into a crowd at a movie theater killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more, authorities said. (AP Photo/University of Colorado) (20 Jul 2012)

<<APPHOTO NY212 (07/20/12)>>

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