James Holmes, the 24-year-old former doctoral student believed to be responsible for the Aurora, Colorado movie shooting, was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder — 12 citing “deliberation” and 12 citing “extreme indifference” — and 116 counts of attempted murder on Monday, according to CNN. Holmes is currently accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 during a midnight release of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Aurora 16 multiplex. Prosecutors have not yet stated whether they will be pursuing the death penalty. A preliminary hearing and an evidence hearing will take place during the week of November 12, which will include several days of testimony. As the charges against Holmes were stated, many of those in attendance wore Batman-themed shirts.
The tragic events during the Aurora midnight release of “The Dark Knight Rises” has affected not only the film’s attendance (National Research Group determined 20%-25% of moviegoers were wary of heading to theaters last weekend due to the tragedy.), but also a number of other Batman-related initiatives. The Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago cancelled an appearance by Lenny B. Robinson, a Baltimore businessman who visits sick children dressed as Batman while driving a customized Lamborghini Batmobile, in the wake of the shooting. Warner Bros. Animation is retooling the upcoming “Beware the Batman” animated series to adapt the depiction of guns and gun violence in the show to appear more sci-fi in order to distance episodes from real-world shooting.
On a positive note, Warner Bros., comic fans and retailers have begun to start charitable initiatives to help support the victims of the shooting. Warner Bros. donated a “substantial” amount to GivingFirst.org. “Dark Knight Rises” composer Hans Zimmer orchestrated an instrumental called “Aurora,” which is being sold on the Warner Bros. website with 100% of the profits to be donated to the Aurora Victim Relief organization through GivingFirst.org. Meanwhile, All C’s Collectibles is organizing a fundraiser called “Aurora Rise” with scheduled appearances by Steve Niles and Tim Daniel. Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics have already donated items to the benefit. The sole comic shop in Aurora, All C’s has set up a Facebook page with more details.