Colorado Shooting Suspect James Holmes Was Turned Away From Gun Range

Gun range owner was disturbed by phone message Holmes left.

ByABC News
July 22, 2012, 7:58 AM

July 22, 2012— -- James Holmes, the man who allegedly killed 12 people and wounded 58 at a packed screening of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," applied to join a Colorado gun range last month, but was rejected by the owner, who found him "creepy."

Glenn Rotkovich, who owns the Lead Valley Range in Byers, Colo., told ABC News that Holmes applied for membership about a month ago via email, but when Rotkovich called him to follow up, he said he got a "bizarre," Batman-inspired voicemail message.

He told his staff not to allow Holmes into the club if he showed up for an orientation.

The gun range owner's reaction adds to a growing portrait of the 24-year-old accused of carrying out the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and who police say rigged his apartment with dozens of explosive devices set to go off when the door was opened.

The search of Holmes' apartment yielded a computer and a variety of Batman paraphernalia, including a poster and a mask, more evidence of his apparent obsession with the comic book hero.

Investigators also found 10 gallons of gasoline, which were removed from the apartment and detonated at a remote site. Images of the ensuing large fireball were captured by a media helicopter hovering above.

Exclusive Video of Holmes at 18

Overnight, ABC News obtained exclusive video and photos of Holmes. The video, which was recorded six years ago when Holmes was 18, gives some insight into his life.

In the video, he is standing among his peers at a science camp held at Miramar College in San Diego talking about "temporal illusions."

"Over the course of the summer I've been working with a temporal illusion. It's an illusion that allows you to change the past," Holmes said in the video.

He appears slightly nervous speaking to the group but also extremely intelligent.

This is how he was explaining his mentor's shared interest in fantasy versus reality in the video: "He also studies subjective experience, which is what takes places inside the mind as opposed to the external world. I've carried on his work in dealing with subjective experience."

By most accounts, Holmes lived the life of a normal teen -- with a particular interest in science.

The video shows him being introduced at the seminar as someone whose "goals are to become a researcher and to make scientific discoveries. In personal life, he enjoys playing soccer and strategy games and his dream is to own a slurpee machine."

Though Holmes was apparently a gifted scientist who had received a federal grant to work on his Ph.D. at one of the most competitive neuroscience programs in the country, he was a loner who -- oddly for a young student -- seemed to have no Internet presence.

Holmes Began Amassing Weapons Two Months Ago

On Saturday, officials said they have "evidence of calculation and deliberation" in the way Holmes allegedly planned and prepared for the shooting, beginning to buy weapons and ammunition two months ago.

Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates announced Friday that Holmes had purchased four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the past 60 days.

Holmes received deliveries to the school and his home over that period, police said.

Holmes was enrolled in a neuroscience graduate program at the University of Colorado. On Sunday, officials at the school's Anschutz Medical Campus said they are looking into whether Holmes had items delivered to the school.