Shooting Victim's Brother James Holmes Deserves DEATH PENALTY

EXCLUSIVE

James Holmes should be sentenced to death ... after suffering in prison for many, many years ... so says the brother of one of the victims in the Colorado massacre.

TMZ spoke with Steven Hernandez ... whose sister Rebecca Wingo was shot and killed, along with 11 other people, during the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier this month.

32-year-old Wingo leaves behind two young daughters.

Prosecutors say they will consider pursuing the death penalty for Holmes -- but will not make a decision until they speak with the families of the victims.

Hernandez has already made up his mind -- explaining, "My sister Rebecca was killed in the theater. My mother is bereft, my wife is distraught and I am heartsick and angry."

"Allow the justice system to punish this murderer. I want to see him sentenced to death and I hope he sits in jail many years waiting to die."

Holmes has been charged with 142 counts for the shooting -- including 24 counts of 1st degree murder.

James Holmes Charged 142 Counts Including 1st Deg. Murder

Breaking News

James Holmes has just been charged with 24 counts of 1st degree murder -- two counts for each of the 12 people he shot and killed during the "Dark Knight" massacre in Colorado on July 20.

Holmes appeared in a Colorado courtroom ... still sporting reddish, orange hair ... where he was also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder ... 2 counts for each of the 58 people who were injured in the shooting.

Holmes spoke in court for the first time during the 45 minute hearing -- answering with a soft spoken "yes" when the judge asked if he was OK with his lawyers requesting more time before his preliminary hearing.

As for Holmes' demeanor, he reportedly stared at the bench blankly with his eyes wide open during the hearing.

One reporter said he seemed "peaceful and calm" ... and appeared lucid and aware of what was going on around him.

In total, Holmes was hit with 142 charges ... including one count of possessing an explosive device and one count of unlawful use of a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty, an option in the State of Colorado.

The 24 counts of murder are split into two categories ... giving prosecutors 2 options to nail Holmes for first degree murder. They can either establish that the crime was premeditated OR that Holmes acted with "extreme indifference to the value of human life."

Same deal for the 116 attempted murder charges -- 58 counts of attempted premeditated murder, and 58 counts of attempted murder with "extreme indifference."

Holmes' next court date is August 9th.

James Holmes Massacre Victim's Mother Ready to Sue Movie Theater

EXCLUSIVE

The 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.

'Batman' Movie Massacre Theater Steps Up for Victims' Funeral Expenses

EXCLUSIVE

The theater where James Holmes opened fire last week, killing 12 people, is offering to pick up funeral expenses for the victims' families ... TMZ has learned.

Several funerals were held Friday in Aurora, Colorado -- one of them for Rebecca Wingo ... a 32-year-old mother of 2.

Sources close to Rebecca's mother tell TMZ, Cinemark -- corporate owners of the Century 16 Theater -- called the chapel where Rebecca's service was held ... and offered to foot the bill for her funeral.

In fact, the owner of the chapel says Cinemark told him it was willing to provide financial backing to all victims' families -- by paying any funeral expenses not covered by the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.

Rebecca's mother, Shirley Wygal, turned down the offer and through a spokesperson told TMZ, the reason was that the Victims Advocate Fund paid for everyone's main funeral expenses.

The spokesperson told us, "Ms. Wygal is extremely grateful for all those who continue to donate to their family through a memorial fund and Rebecca's two little girls left behind college fund via the families website at AuroraHeroes.com which is not only made for Rebecca, but for all the victims of the tragedy ... Any and all additional funds will be transferred to the two little girls of Rebecca's college fund."

It's unclear how many funeral homes and chapels in Aurora got the same call. Cinemark hasn't returned our call for comment yet.

Dane Cook Apologizes for Massacre Joke -- 'Bad Judgment Call'

Breaking News

Dane Cook has issued an apology for cracking a joke about the "Dark Knight Rises" massacre ... saying he regrets telling the joke ... and admits it was a "bad judgment call."

Cook just posted a statement on Twitter saying, "I am devastated by the recent tragedy in Colorado & did not mean to make light of what happened."

"I made a bad judgment call with my material last night & regret making a joke at such a sensitive time. My heart goes out to all of the families & friends of the victims."

As we previously reported, Cook's controversial joke went something like this ... The Batman movie is so bad, had the killing spree not occurred, the people inside of the theater would have been begging for someone to shoot them.

The whole thing went down Thursday night at The Laugh Factory on the Sunset Strip ... and was captured on tape. The footage was later posted to the website DailyCaller.com.

Dane Cook Cracks Jokes About 'Batman' Massacre

Dane Cook is using the Colorado shooting tragedy as material for his standup act.

Last night, Cook took the stage at the Laugh Factory on Sunset Blvd. and began to talk about "Dark Knight Rises."

In footage, obtained by DailyCaller.com, Cook can be heard saying ...

"So I heard that the guy came into the theater about 25 minutes into the movie ... And I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, but the movie is pretty much a piece of crap ... yeah, spoiler alert.”

Cook continued ... “I know that if none of that would have happened, pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, was probably like ‘ugh f*cking shoot me.’”

A bunch of people in the crowd laughed ... some people groaned.

For the record, the shooting occurred exactly one week ago ... 12 people were killed and 58 were injured with many people still hospitalized.

Delayed Batman Comic Teacher Pulls Gun On Students

EXCLUSIVE

A teacher pulls a gun on a classroom filled with students in the latest Batman comic book -- and that's why DC Comics chose to postpone its release.

As we reported, DC Comics forbade the release of its new issue of "Batman Inc." because it "contains content that may be perceived as insensitive" in the wake of the "Dark Knight" shooting in Colorado. Now, we know exactly what that "insensitive" content is.

In addition to the teacher pointing a gun at her classroom, the issue contains several other references to gun violence -- including one moment when a character says, "Eyewitness spoke of a grisly bullet-ridden cadaver."

The issue has been blocked from release until August 22.

James Holmes Sent Massacre Plans to Professor BEFORE Shootings

Breaking News

James Holmes spelled out gory details of his planned massacre in a notebook which he mailed to a University of Colorado professor ... more than a week before he opened fire in the Aurora movie theater.

Police and FBI discovered the notebook while searching a mail room on the Aurora campus on Monday ... but it had reportedly been sitting there unopened since July 12 -- EIGHT days before the shootings that killed 12 people and injured 58.

The package was sent from Holmes, and according to a FOXNews.com source ... “Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people. There were drawings of what he was going to do in it -- drawings and illustrations of the massacre."

The source says the drawings included gun-wielding stick figures shooting other stick figures.

The notebook was reportedly addressed to a professor/psychiatrist who treated patients at the campus' psychiatry facility. It's unknown if the professor ever had contact with Holmes.

Earlier this year, Holmes dropped out of the university's neuroscience doctoral program, where he had studied mental health issues.

James Holmes Possible Prostitute Connection

EXCLUSIVE

TMZ has obtained information which may show Colorado shooter James Holmes was involved with multiple prostitutes in the months before the movie theater attack.

Holmes was no stranger to sex web sites ... and sources tell us he also frequented a message board where potential johns posted reviews for hookers in the Colorado area.

We found the message board ... and discovered several posts written under James' supposed screen name ... in which he details multiple sexual encounters with different prostitutes.

TMZ spoke to three of the women Holmes supposedly reviewed. Hooker #1 told us she meets with lots of men and couldn't confirm she ever did business with James.

Hooker #2 said Holmes "looked very familiar" but couldn't say for certain if he was a client.

But Hooker #3 was POSITIVE she had met up with Holmes ... not once, but twice ... as recently as August 2011.

The woman, who goes by the name "Tiffany" -- tells TMZ ... "I had no issues with him … he was really nice.”

She added, "He felt bad that I wasn’t getting more customers while in Colorado, so he called a few days later and we met up again.”

We called Holmes' legal team -- but they declined to comment.

Christian Bale Visiting 'Batman' Shooting Victims in Colorado

Breaking News

2:30 PM PT -- One of the shooting victims, Carey Rottman, was so excited to meet Bale ... he posted a photo of the hospital visit to his Facebook page moments ago (above).

Rottman is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg he suffered in the attack.

"Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale is currently in Denver, CO ... visiting the victims and families of last week's movie theater shooting.

According to KDVR, Bale has been spotted at Aurora Medical Center ... where he reportedly arrived by ambulance around 2PM ... most likely to enter the building under the radar.

A rep for Warner Bros. released a statement saying, "Mr. Bale is there as himself, not representing Warner Brothers."

It's unclear when Bale arrived in Denver.

Bale's film was playing in the Century 16 theater in Aurora, CO when James Holmes opened fire on the crowd ... killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.

Bale has not made a public appearance since the incident.

DC Comics Postponing Batman Comic Over 'Dark Knight' Shooting

Exclusive Details

DC Comics is forbidding comic book retailers from selling the upcoming issue of a Batman comic book ... because it "contains content that may be perceived as insensitive" in the wake of the "Dark Knight" shooting in Colorado.

TMZ obtained an email DC sent comic book retailers last night asking them to HOLD the new issue of "Batman Inc." -- a fairly new comic book line featuring the Caped Crusader.

In the email, DC explains ... "Out of respect for the victims and families in Aurora, Colorado DC Entertainment has made the decision to postpone the release of BATMAN INCORPORATED #3 for one month because the comic contains content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events."

The issue was originally scheduled to go on sale tomorrow, July 25 -- now DC is asking retailers to hold the issue until August 22.

James Holmes Massacre First Lawsuit

EXCLUSIVE

One of the victims in the James Holmes mass murder spree has lawyered up and plans to file a lawsuit ... because he feels the theater dropped the ball in a very fatal way.

Torrence Brown, Jr. was in Century 16 Theater when Holmes let loose. One of Brown's best friends, A.J. Boik, was shot in the chest and died. Brown, who was not physically injured, claims to now suffer from extreme trauma.

Brown has hired attorney Donald Karpel to rep him. Karpel tells TMZ ... he is targeting 3 defendants.

1. The theater. Karpel claims it was negligent for the theater to have an emergency door in the front that was not alarmed or guarded. It's widely believed Holmes entered the theater with a ticket, propped the emergency door open from inside, went to his car and returned with guns.

2. Holmes' doctors. Karpel says it appears Holmes was on several medications -- prescribed by one or more doctors -- at the time of the shooting and he believes the docs did not properly monitor Holmes.

3. Warner Bros. Karpel says "Dark Knight Rises" was particularly violent and Holmes mimicked some of the action. The attorney says theater goers were helpless because they thought the shooter was part of the movie. Karpel tells TMZ, "Somebody has to be responsible for the rampant violence that is shown today."

James Holmes Suspicious Package at CU Bomb Squad Called In

Emergency responders raced to the University of Colorado medical campus today after school officials discovered two suspicious packages ... stirring fears that they may have been sent by James Holmes.

According to ABC7 in Denver ... one of the packages was left at a campus building while it was mostly empty. The second package was discovered in the school's central mail facility.

Holmes -- who attended CU -- has been in police custody since Friday morning ... when he shot 70 people in a crowded movie theater, killing 12.

3:50 PM PT -- A rep for the CU med school tells TMZ, police investigated the packages and found nothing dangerous or suspicious.

James Holmes The Bizarre Mug Shot

Officials in Colorado have just released James Holmes' mug shot -- showing the "Dark Knight Rises" shooter in an orange jumpsuit ... with a crazed look in his eyes.

The photo was taken Friday afternoon ... just hours after the 24-year-old opened fire in a movie theater ... killing 12 people and injuring 58 more.

Holmes appeared in court Monday morning ... with the same odd look on his face.

Holmes is facing first degree murder charges. Prosecutors said they will consider pursuing the death penalty.

James Holmes' Family WE STAND BY OUR SON

Breaking News

James Holmes' family stands by their son -- this according to the family's lawyer.

The lawyer spoke moments ago during a new conference in San Diego -- and when asked if James' family supports him, the lawyer replied, "Yes, they do. He's their son."

The Holmes' family lawyer addressed the media to clarify a recent ABC report, in which James' mother Arlene allegedly identified her son as the mass murderer, saying, "You have the right person."

The lawyer read a statement on Arlene's behalf -- claiming Arlene had replied "You have the right person" in reference to herself ... when the reporter asked if she was Arlene Holmes, mother of James Holmes.

Arlene's statement continues, "At this time, we will not be discussing James and his relationship to the family."

As for the original report -- ABC News says it stands by its story.

James Holmes REJECTED By 3 Women Before Shooting

EXCLUSIVE

James Holmes struck out with three different women on an adult sex website in the days before he shot 70 people in Colorado ... TMZ has learned.

We broke the story ... Holmes was an active member on AdultFriendFinder.com ... and now we've learned he reached out to multiple women before the movie theater attack.

TMZ spoke with three women who were contacted by Holmes since he opened his account on July 5 ... and each of the women tell us they turned down the killer's requests to meet up.

One of the women tells us ... Holmes wasn't aggressively seeking out sex -- in fact, she says he was "just looking to maybe chat ... nothing sexual."

The woman told us she rejected Holmes because she just wasn't into him.

Despite his innocent approach, Holmes made it clear on his profile he wasn't just looking for a friend -- in fact, he described himself as a guy looking for a "casual sex girl" and possibly group sex.

Holmes' profile has since been removed from the site.

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