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James Holmes Massacre

Victim's Mother Ready

to Sue Movie Theater

7/30/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0729_james_holmes_aurora_tmzThe mother of one of James Holmes' massacre victims has hired a high-powered attorney to sue the Aurora, CO movie theater where he opened fire ... killing 12 people, and injuring 58 others.

TMZ has learned Shirley Wygal is retaining a lawyer in Los Angeles to handle her case -- and we're told she plans to go after the Century 16 Theater.

Shirley's 32-year-old daughter Rebecca Wingo was shot and killed in the theater.

Sources close to Shirley tell us she believes the theater's emergency exit doors should have been alarmed, or there should have been security guards posted next to them ... especially for a premiere as anticipated as "The Dark Knight Rises."

Witnesses say Holmes entered the theater through an emergency exit door and then started shooting. Authorities think he may have propped the door open earlier from inside the theater.

TMZ broke the story ... a survivor of the shooting spree is planning a similar suit, but he also intends to go after Warner Bros. and Holmes' doctors.

We've reached out to Cinemark -- the theater's corporate owners -- but no reply yet.

Holmes will be in court Monday morning to be formally charged in the massacre.


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A lot of you are clueless on this. She has a very solid case and she will win it.

The movie theater IS responsible for securing their EXIT doors. Remember that word. EXIT. - Definition: A passage or way out: an emergency exit in a theater; took the second exit on the throughway.

The theater allowed an individual to enter their facility AGAIN through an unsecured 'exit' that wasn't alarmed nor monitored. If you leave through those doors, your way back in is through the MAIN ENTRANCE...which is the lobby. The entrance to the theater is the main lobby which is monitored.

Those doors are EXIT doors and in some places emergency exits. Some sort of silent alarm should be on them if they are propped open, otherwise individuals could enter, like what happened, at any time.

If it had been silent alarmed in some way, the theater staff would have come and secured it/closed it.

And remember, he didnt just go out and immediately come back. He went out, changed, geared up, etc.

That took time.

That door could have been and would have most likely been secured by then by theater staff. Would he have still come back in the lobby? Maybe but maybe less people would have been killed.

No one is saying a guard should have been at them, but a door 'propped' open for over 10 minutes should have been secured by theater staff.

I have a friend who worked a theater years ago part time. In his theater those doors were not emergency exits but they were still 'checked' before every showing to make sure they were secured according to him. According to him, for a showing of this magnitude, they would definitely have people checking those doors to make sure people weren't 'sneaking' friends into midnight showings.

You'll see these doors become 'emergency' exits from here out and they will be alarmed/secured.

761 days ago


They aren't emergency exit doors people, they're just exits!!!!!! They do not need to be alarmed or guarded! Ridiculous. America disappoints me. Money won't bring anyone's life back.

761 days ago


Sad that this happened but, seriously, how is the movie theater to blame over a crazy nut?? please, i hope this doesn't get too far!

761 days ago


Sue for what? She raises a wackadoo son, so the rest of the world needs to protect everyone from him. WTF!! Where is Gladys Knight, this woman needs a good slap.

761 days ago



761 days ago


I can't frikin believe this woman is trying to profit from what her son did. If she wins, every dime should go to the victims and their families.!!!

761 days ago


YOU STUPID ****! Way to use a tragedy as a doorway to dollar signs. Obviously you care more about stuffing your empty pockets than mourning your loss..

761 days ago


I know people don't agree with her suing the theatre, but I saw that mom give an interview and she was devastated. So I really don't think anymore would be able to look that woman in her face and tell her she's just doing it for the money(though that's an end result, but two young kids were left behind, any money gotten could be used for them). And why werent those exit doors alarmed? There's a sign that says ONLY use these for emergencies. All the ones I know are alarmed. I've been babysitting and had kids set them off, just by touching the handle.

761 days ago


Cut this woman some slack. Her daughter was murdered, and she's trying to make some sense of it right now. Her suit doesn't have merit as there was no indication that guards at exit doors would EVER be needed (and Holmes could have just shot them anyway. Nothing like this has ever happened here, even at other movies like this. But that mother is mourning and trying to answer a question without an answer. "What could have been done differently?" In her mind, a guard at the exit could have prevented this, even though those of us fortunate enough to not be burying out kids over this tragedy can think with clear minds and realize Holmes wouldn't have been deterred by something like that. She is trying to make sense out of her horrible loss, and perhaps find something to focus on that may make her feel she's dong something positive. Cut her some slack for that right now. She's mourning. Be glad your own kids are okay, and stop calling her names so soon after her daughter was slaughtered.

761 days ago


If I were the judge I would laugh this right out of court. What a joke. I am sorry for her loss but no way should Warners have to pay anything...Yes, in the future the Emerg exit should be alarmed but that would have had no effect in this case...or really any attack case. It takes 2 seconds to walk through a door and start firing. The alarm would have gone off and he'd be shooting at the same time at the most. Granted, perhaps an alarm going off on a door might have better indicated which theater people were fleeing from, though but that is the only benefit I can see to it.

761 days ago


Try and see it this way: I don't think she's being greedy. I think she's grieving and angry and looking for retribution for the loss of her child. She's obviously not going to get any from her killer.

761 days ago


no disrespect to the victims, but if you were going to have an unarmed guard at the door, all it means is that they will be the first one out when the rush for the doors start.

761 days ago

Ratings Needed    

Movie complexes are too lax in security. Other theaters had security on during this opening...the back doors do need to be watched....for the price of a drink or popcorn...any confections bought certainly can pay min wage for someone to keep watch on the exit doors it's better & cheaper than a lawsuit.

761 days ago


greed will not bring back your daughter.

761 days ago


damn, you all are cruel. she lost her daughter, but the women who was made fun of on the internet gets half a million dollars? i completely understand why she wants to sue the theatre, because our emergency doors are always alarmed and at midnight showings or any late night showings in general, there's always police around paroling making sure things stay cool. as far as sueing warner bro's, i'm not sure about that one because batman is a popular movie and that's all she can really get them for is the movie they made.

761 days ago
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