Dark Knight gunman “forced to wear a face guard in prison after spitting at officers”
Gunman”s mother admits she feared he was disturbed for yearsSources: Police placed evidence bags on James Holmes” hands after his arrest and he pretended they were puppetsGunman had previously received $26,000 federal education grant
Jail workers said he was not on medication during court appearanceVictim set to launch first lawsuit against movie theater, Holmes” doctors and Warner Brothers for not preventing horrific attack
The man accused of gunning down cinema-goers at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado has been spitting so much at officers while he is held in police custody, they have been forced to put a face guard on him.
After James Holmes was arrested in the movie theater”s parking lot, he sat wide-eyed and twitching and refused to cooperate with investigators, sources revealed.
It also emerged that when authorities placed evidence bags over the 24-year-old”s hands to preserve gunshot residue, he began playing with them as if they were two puppets, the sources told CALL7.
He is being held in isolation at the Arapahoe County Jail but the continual spitting has forced authorities to cover his face while he is being moved.
Scroll down for video
Bizarre behaviour: James Holmes, pictured at his first court appearance on Monday, reportedly used police evidence bags as hand puppets after his arrest and sat wide-eyed and twitching
It is just the latest example of Holmes”bizarre behaviour and comes as his mother revealed she feared he had been disturbed for years and was concerned about his social isolation.
Arlene Holmes, who lives in San Diego, California and was only made aware of the shootings when a reporter called her for a comment, is said to have urged her son to seek counselling.
The claim in the Washington Post about Mrs Holmes, a nurse, is the first sign that she could have averted the massacre and raises grave questions over what else she knew.
When she was called about the shootings on Friday, she told an ABC reporter “you have the right person” – in an apparent indication that her son was the likely gunman.
But on Monday, her lawyer spoke out to claim Mrs Holmes”s statement had been mischaracterised, and she had in fact been confirming that she was the “right person”.
Out of it: Holmes, who said he dyed his hair to appear like Batman”s nemesis The Joker, gave an alarming performance in court, but jail workers said he was not on any medication
Pain: Family members gather around the makeshift memorial behind the Century 16 cinema on Tuesday
Mourning: Left, two daughters of victim Gordon Cowden”s embrace as another daughter leaves messages on a cross at the memorial site. The father of four, who was the oldest victim, is pictured right
Loss: Two of Cowden”s teenage daughters were with him in the cinema at the time of the shooting
Struggle: The family gathers at the cross nearby to the cinema where their father was gunned down. In the foreground, a family portrait shows Cowden and his children
Emotion: Ashley Deuell, 18, kneels next to a cross and family photo of Cowden, a friend of her family
According to reports, the neuroscience graduate was adopted and Mrs Holmes, 58, and husband Robert, 61, a software developer, raised him as one of their own.
The reports come just one day after Holmes”s startling first appearance in court on Monday, where he rolled his eyes, stared directly ahead and swayed from side to side.
He also displayed a disheveled mop oforange hair, apparently fading from the red he had dyed it in an attempt to resemble Batman”s arch nemesis, The Joker.
He stayed silent throughout the appearance at Arapahoe County Court and at times appeared as if he was under heavy medication.
But a jail employee has claimed that the 12-minute catatonic appearance was an act, not the result of any drugs.
“We don’t just hand out meds,” the Arapahoe County Detention Center worker told the New York Daily News. “It just doesn’t work like that. If he was acting sleepy, he was faking it.”
New images: The public is learning more about the victims of the horrific attack, including Petty Officer Third Class John T. Larimer, 27, left, and young dad Jonathan T. Blunk, 26, right
Loved: Well-wishers and friends have left messages on the crosses representing each of the 12 victims
Case: Members of the prosecution team leave the cinema after spending an hour there on Tuesday
Fighter: Robert Blache sits by his daughter Christina, who was shot in the attack, at Swedish Medical Center
Support: Best friends Allie Young, left, and Stephanie Davies recount how Stephanie saved Allie”s life by applying pressure to a gun wound on her neck
The source added: “I heard he’s not cooperating. He’s trying to act crazy. I know the people here believe it’s an act, but only he knows for sure.”
Dr Joan Neff, a criminologist from theUniversity of Virginia, told MailOnline that Holmes” appearance was consistent with someone who was suffering from a mental illness, such asschizophrenia.
Mugshot: Holmes, 24, is suspected of shooting dead 12 cinema-goers and wounding 58 others
She said this would also explain why he dropped out of his PhD so abruptly.
“Weknow that certain types of psychoses tend to have an onset in the early20s; if that”s the case he may be in the midst of coping with that. He may not know what”s going on,” she said.
Alternatively,she said the conditions of his jailing – especially for someone who hasnever been in trouble with the law – may have brought on an episode.
“Sometimes that can be an experience in and of itself,” Dr Neff said. “So his appearance is not very surprising.”
Jailors at the facility agreed Holmes has been acting bizarrely ever since arriving and “thinks he”s acting in a movie”, they told the New York Daily News
“He was spitting at the door and spitting at the guards,” a released inmate said outside the jail. “He’sspitting at everything. Dude was acting crazy.”
Mental illness is something the suspected gunman would be educated in, after completing a neuroscience degree before dropping out of his PhD program last month.
Holmes was previously awarded a $26,000 federal grant from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, part of the US Deparment of Health.
The sum covered a stipend and his tuition at the University of Colorado in Denver. He was one of six neuroscience students at the school to receive the money, WNEW News reported.
Aswell as mental illness, there have been other suggestions at a motive, including reports Holmes had recently split from a girlfriend and the fact he had been struggling in school before dropping out.
Backtrack: Holmes”s mother feared he had been disturbed for years. On Monday her attorney Lisa Damiani (pictured) said the woman had no idea he was the suspect, despite earlier reports
Outrage: Tom and Caren Teves, whose son Alex was killed, and his girlfriend Amanda Lindgren, were just a few of the relatives at the court appearance. They branded Holmes a “coward”
Crowd: People, including victims and their relatives, listen to the court hearing of James Holmes on Monday
Ongoing: Crime scene tape is seen around the apartment where Homes lived in Aurora on Tuesday
Investigation: Members of the prosecution also arrive to look at Holmes”s apartment
Whatever thecause, families are now reacting to the killings by unleashing lawsuitson the Century 16 Theater where the shooting took place, Holmes” doctors and Warner Brothers.
TMZ reported that Torrence Brown, Jr. was in the cinema when Holmes shot dead 12 people and wounded another 58.
One of his friends, 18-year-old A.J. Boik, was killed in the massacre, and Brown is now suffering from extreme trauma, according to his attorney Donald Karpel.
His lawsuit,which has not yet been filed, will name the theater, for not properly securing the emergency exit and Holmes’ doctors, for allegedly prescribing medications, as defendants.
It will also name the studio Warner Brothers, claiming that Dark Knight Rises is too violent.
Lawsuit: Witness Torrence Brown, Jr. (right) is about to bring a lawsuit against the cinema, Holmes” doctors and Warner Brothers after suffering extreme trauma after his friend AJ Boik (left) was shot dead
Remembered: A woman grieves at a memorial for victims behind the theater in Aurora, Colorado
Outpouring: Thousands of people continue to visit the makeshift memorial to leave gifts or messages
Never forgotten: The community continues to come together as questions remain about the killer
After his brief appearance on Monday, Holmes is back in solitary confinement – but the families of the victims said they saw enough.
“I saw the coward in court today,” said Tom Teves, whose son Alex was among those killed. “Alex could have wiped the floor with him without breaking a sweat.”
Holmes is being held without bond and will hear the formal charges against him next Monday. The County District Attorney is considering whether to seek the death penalty.
Legal experts told the Denver Post that Holmes”s attorneys are likely to pursue an insanity defense.