Holmes Brilliant? More Like a 'Dolt': Sources
But he was a skilled shooter, say police
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2012 8:30 AM CDT
James Holmes was a 'dolt,' says another researcher who worked at the institute where the summer camp was held.   (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The latest in the attempt to better define Aurora shooter James Holmes: He apparently had a lot of target practice, isn't so smart, and may have a thing for prostitutes. From the most to least concrete:

  • Based on Holmes' "unusually high" hit rate, police believe he had extensive target practice in advance of the shootings, reports the Los Angeles Times. To be able to kill or wound 70 moving targets in a dark theater cloaked in gas is no easy feat, and the kick from the shotgun (used to shower the theater with buckshot, or something like it) and Glock (which he switched to after his semiautomatic AR-15 jammed) only added to the difficulty level. Such a hit rate under those circumstances would be "unusually high for someone new to this," said one law enforcement official.

  • So he was a skilled shooter—but was he brilliant? His neuroscience career path, his federal grant, that science camp video may indicate so, but the man Holmes listed as his camp mentor calls him a "mediocre" student; another neuroscientist says he was considered a "dolt," reports USA Today. He "should not have gotten into the summer program. I've heard him described as brilliant. This is extremely inaccurate." As for that $26,000 grant, "Everyone has one.There is nothing elite about it." (Business Insider speculates that the grant money could have paid for his weapons cache.)
  • And then there's the latest from TMZ, which claims Holmes frequented prostitutes in the months before the attack. Click to hear from three women Holmes supposedly "reviewed" online.