Suspect's family expresses sympathy for victims

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SAN DIEGO — The mother of James Holmes had no idea her son was believed to be the gunman who killed a dozen people in a Colorado theater until she was contacted hours after the tragedy at her San Diego home by a reporter, the family's lawyer said Monday.

Lisa Damiani, an attorney and spokesperson for the parents of alleged Colorado mass murderer James Holmes, speaks at a news conference Monday.  LENNY IGNELZI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Lisa Damiani, an attorney and spokesperson for the parents of alleged Colorado mass murderer James Holmes, speaks at a news conference Monday.


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At a news conference in San Diego, the family's attorney, Lisa Damiani, told reporters that Arlene Holmes received a phone call at 5:45 a.m. Friday from an ABC News reporter who asked if she was the mother of James Holmes who lives in Aurora, Colo.

"I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time," Arlene Holmes said in the statement.

Authorities say Holmes opened fire on a crowded movie theater Friday at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured. James Holmes, 24, made his first court appearance Monday in a Denver suburb where he's being held without bond.

Damiani declined to say whether the suspect's parents were surprised their son was being accused of a crime or whether he had shown any signs of instability before July 20. Damiani said they would not publicly discuss details about their son.

When asked if they stood by Holmes, Damiani said, "Yes they do. He's their son."

Holmes, who has been assigned a public defender, is expected to be formally charged next Monday. He is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder.

"Everyone's concerned" about the possibility of the death penalty, Damiani said.

"They're doing as well as they can under the circumstances," said Damiani of the family, adding that they have been getting "amazing" support from their church.

The parents want to reiterate what they said shortly after the shooting, that their hearts go out to the victims and their families, Damiani said.

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curly123053 07/24/12 - 07:57 am
I am sorry the family is

I am sorry the family is being put through this by the actiuons of their son. God be with them in the coming days and months.

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