Posted: Jul 23, 2012 7:37 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2012 6:46 AM
AURORA, Colo. - One of the questions to come out of today's court hearing for James Holmes is whether he was acting.
Former CHANNEL 5 NEWS reporter Will Ripley has been covering the Denver-area movie theater massacre and ensuing events. He was one of the first reporters to cover Friday's shooting.
"A lot of viewers have been sending us messages telling us they don't buy what they saw in court today," said Ripley, who now works at a Denver television station.
"He looked dazed and drifted off at times. A lot of the shooting victims were in courtroom ... leaning forward on their seats trying to get a glimpse of this guy, hoping for some indication of emotion ... they were pretty disappointed, because they didn't get what they were looking for," Ripley said.
He said the suspect told arresting officers he was the Joker, and police found a Batman mask inside his booby-trapped apartment.
"He is in solitary confinement ... and there has been a gag order issued in the case," he said.
Ripley said a lot of Denver-area viewers don't want to see too much of the suspect on camera, and that is weighing in on how the media is covering this case.
Ripley had just returned to Denver hours before the massacre happened.
"I was at home unpacking when I started seeing the messages coming in on Twitter about the mass shooting in Aurora," he said. "I didn't think twice ... I just shaved the beard I grew in my vacation and went straight into work and in less than an hour we were live on the air.
"It was ... surreal. We were on live from about 2:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. with no commercial brakes, trying to digest all the information coming in," he said.