Colorado shooting suspect bought weapons online

A computer keyboard is displayed on July 9, 2012.

Stacey Vanek Smith: The suspect in the Colorado theater massacre makes his first court appearance this morning. James Holmes isn't talking to police. But he left a behind a rich Internet trail that shows how he bought some of his lethal supplies.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer takes a look.


Nancy Marshall-Genzer: The owner of a gun range in Colorado says James Holmes applied to join his club last month. Everybody who applies has to go to a mandatory orientation.

But Glenn Rotkovich says he was taken aback when he called Holmes to invite him to the orientation.

Glenn Rotkovich: I got this bizarre answering machine of his that was a very base, guttural growling, you know, "James," type of thing going on.

Rotkovich decided not to let Holmes into the club. But no one stopped Holmes from ordering all kinds of combat supplies over the Internet. Police say he received at least 50 packages in the months before the shooting -- all stuff he ordered over the web. Police say Holmes bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition online, plus a combat vest, gas mask and a knife.

You usually have to buy guns in person, because you have to pass a background check. But there are no checks when you want to buy gun supplies on the web. And there's no official system to track whether people are stockpiling ammunition and other lethal supplies.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall-Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...