Lifestyle & Belief

Being James Holmes: several Holmes falsely identified as shooter


Authorities have identified James Holmes as the alleged gunman in the Aurora shootings.

Following this morning's Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, there was a mad dash on the Internet to find out who is James Holmes.

The man in custody for allegedly killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 after opening fire in a movie theater showing the new Batman film has been positively identified as a man named James Holmes, a fairly common name. 

A quick search on Facebook turns up dozens of people named James Holmes. Bringing the list down to those who live in the Denver area doesn't help to narrow those numbers by much either. 

Business Insider noted one James Holmes took to his Facebook wall to ensure the world he was not the Holmes they were looking for. "I appreciate the fact that you are trying to become better-informed about the occurrences last night in Aurora, but you have been somewhat mislead, in that I am not the man who did it. But I would appreciate if you would read this particular post an not assume that it would be interesting to be friends with someone on Facebook who is very probably going to be in jail and not be able to confirm your friend requests anyway," the wrong Holmes wrote. 

It isn't just people surfing the web who are getting the facts on who James Holmes really is wrong. ABC's Brian Ross made the presumptuous leap that a James Holmes who is from Aurora, Colorado, who happens to be an active member of the community's Tea Party was in fact the same James Holmes that allegedly killed 12 people. Ross was wrong. Both he and ABC later apologized for the mistake, the Huffington Post reported.

Another James Holmes was cited on a Right Wing News article that linked to his Facebook page with the headline, “Is This James Holmes’ Facebook Page?” The article's author John Hawkins carefully worded his article just in case it wasn't saying, “...there’s nothing on the page that has dark, crazed, ready-to-snap vibe going on. Were I guessing, I’d say this IS NOT the page, but nothing else on Facebook in the area seems to fit well.”

The real James Holmes was positively identified as a 24-year-old man who, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, was a student there until last month, when he withdrew without giving a reason.

A San Diego woman identified herself to ABC News as the mother of James Holmes. She said she had not yet been contacted by authorities and had been unaware of the shootings.

"You have the right person," she said. "I need to call the police... I need to fly out to Colorado."

More from GlobalPost: James Holmes identified as alleged Batman shooter