By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY
USA TODAY's Kevin Johnson quotes federal law enforcement officials as confirming the identity of the shooting suspect as Holmes, but says he "was not on anybody's radar" and apparently did not have a record.
The Denver Post, citing "information provided" to the newspaper, reports that the suspect described himself last year in an apartment rental application as a student who was "quiet and easy going."
Denver's Fox31 reports that police documents show that he moved to Colorado from San Diego to pursue a PhD.
The Associated Press reports that Holmes began a program in neurosciences at the University of Colorado in the fall of 2011, but withdrew last month.
University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery confirms Holmes was a graduate student at the school of medicine until last month. On May 8, he was scheduled to present a paper on MicroRNA biomarkers for a class on psychiatric and neurological disorders.
The suspect, who was dressed in black and apparently wearing a protective vest, was arrested by his car near the movie theater early today. He had an assault rifle, shotgun and two pistols at the scene, the Associated Press reports.
"He did not resist. He did not put up a fight," says Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania.
The suspect lives at an apartment about four miles from the theater where the shootings took place and in view of Children's Hospital, where some victims were taken.
The suspect told authorities there were explosives at his third-floor apartment, which was quickly surrounded by police.
Aurora Deputy Fire Chief Chris Henderson says the apartment is "extensively" booby-trapped, with numerous liter bottles connected with wires or cord arranged in the front room, along with other unknown devices or items, USA TODAY's Trevor Hughes reports.
Police evacuated several buildings in the area as bomb squads prepared to send a robot into the apartment.
The Denver Post quotes a pharmacy student living in the apartment building as saying that Holmes kept to himself and would not even respond to anyone who tried to say "hello."
ABC News says it spoke to a woman in San Diego who identified herself as Holmes' mother. The woman immediately expressed concern that her son might be involved in the shootings in Colorado.
"You have the right person," she told ABC News. "I need to call the police... I need to fly out to Colorado."
KPBS reports that San Diego police have begun providing security for the woman, identified as Arlene Holmes, who lives in Rancho Penasquitos.
The suspect's family later released a statement expressing sympathy for the victims and their families:
Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families andfriends of those involved. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time. Our family is cooperating with authorities in both San Diego, California and Aurora, Colorado. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy.
The North County Times newspaper, which serves the San Diego area, quotes a neighbor who had lived next door to the Holmes' family for years, as saying James had a degree in neuroscience from a University of California school.
He says Holmes' mother told him that he had been unable to find a job so she sent him to Colorado to pursue an advance degree.
The neighbor, Tom Mai, describes Holmes as a "typical American kid," who "kept to himself," and "didn't seem to have many friends."