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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Another sad day in America

By Bill O'Reilly

Bad things happen to good people all the time. Nobody knows why. It's just the way life is. Once again, we have mass murder in America and the killer is a young man who was simply out of his mind. It's nobody's fault. There is no policy deficit. It's just an atrocity that's impossible to explain.

This is the fifth time in 13 years that an American has committed mass murder. Columbine, Colorado -- April 20th, 1999 13 dead; 26 wounded after two students shot them down. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold then committed suicide.

April 16th, 2007; a deranged man on the Virginia Tech campus kills 33 people including himself. No motive for the homicides.

November 5th, 2009; Army Major Nadal Hasan kills 13 Americans at Fort Hood, Texas. He's currently charged with premeditated murder. His trial will begin next year.

And finally January 8th, 2011 22-year-old Jared Loughner kills six, wounds 13 in Tucson, Arizona including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner is currently in a Missouri prison awaiting trial on 49 felony counts.

And now, we have 24-year-old James Holmes from San Diego who allegedly killed 12 people, wounding 59 others in a Colorado movie theater. The crime took place in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, a place where I actually lived for two years. Aurora is a middle class neighborhood, just regular folks.

Colorado authorities are holding Holmes and there is no question he did it. So once again, we have a crazy guy causing a massive amount of pain and destruction. There is little else to say.

Fox News correspondent Jon Scott has the timeline.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JON SCOTT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little after midnight local time the wildly anticipated premier of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" begins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden I look to my right and there is this guy, you know, who is coming through this exit door to my right. And he looked like he was an actor or something you know he was just like a prop.

SCOTT: About 20 minutes later the shooter stands at the front of the theater wearing body armor and a gas mask. He is armed to the teeth with an assault rifle, shotgun and at least one Glock pistol.

First he sets off two devices which release some sort of irritant or smoke in the air. Then he opens fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody is still shooting inside Theater Number Nine per an employee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody is spraying gas in here too.

SCOTT: For up to 20 minutes the shooter fires into the sold-out theater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was this one guy who is on all fours crawling. There was this girl splitting up blood. There were bullet holes in some people's backs and some people's arms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing that affects me most is just seeing that young girl just laying there just shot. Like she was just a little kid still, you know. Like it is just not right.

SCOTT: 12:39 Local Time -- calls start coming in to police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We may have a number of people dead inside the theater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. If they are dead just -- just leave them, we are in a mass casualty situation at this time.

SCOTT: Within two minutes police flood the scene. People covered in blood begin streaming out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first thing we see is a 13-14-year-old girl with a bullet wound in her leg and her stomach and probably her chest. And I think she was right there about to die.

SCOTT: Minutes later, police arrest 24-year-old James Holmes in the back of the theater. And once the sun comes up the rest of the country begins to learn of the horror. President Obama saying the government will do whatever is necessary to bring the shooter to justice.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.

SCOTT: Back in Colorado, cops say the motive is unclear and they are not looking for any other suspects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are confident that he acted alone. However, we will do a thorough investigation to be absolutely sure that that is the case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: And joining us now from the scene of the crime on the phone is Jon Scott. So you're a -- you're a Colorado native. Can you provide some perspective for us?

SCOTT (via telephone): Yes Bill. I am struck as I come out here. It's a crystal blue sky today. There's a light breeze blowing. It's warm. It's everybody -- it's what everybody comes to Colorado for. The fantastic weather, the outdoor scenery and the lifestyle.

Friendly people here and yet another one of these tragedies have happened just like it happened 13 years ago at Columbine.

O'REILLY: Now, is there a culture in Colorado that is casual about firearms because you know that's going to come up. When I lived there in the late 1970s everybody was outdoors. There is obviously a western tradition where everybody has access to guns. And this guy bought his guns legally I understand. But -- but -- but it -- people they respect firearms there. But it isn't difficult to get them?

SCOTT: Sure.

It is not difficult to get them and I think there is a respect and healthy kind of respect for firearms here. When I lived here in my early 20s I had a rifle rack in the back of my pickup and would, you know, go up in the mountains and plink with a .22.

O'REILLY: Right.

SCOTT: It's like common out here. This just seems to be the case of an individual who just snapped.

O'REILLY: Now, I don't know whether you can answer this question, but I haven't heard it addressed so I want to ask it. How do you get that kind of armament in a theater? I guess he had a back pack or something. But the guy has got full regalia. He's got three weapons. Two that are substantial, large -- all right. He's got tear gas canisters. How do you get that into a theater?

SCOTT: I think I can fill you in on that. You see he bought a ticket, came in dressed as a civilian and sat in the very front row. And then sometime after either the previews started or the film itself started he went through one of the fire escape exits that's actually located at the front of the theater behind the movie screen.

So then he went out to his car, dressed up in all his gear and after 15-20 minutes came back in carrying all that stuff. He must have either jammed open the door or used a piece of tape to make it, to be able to open it again.

I talked to two witnesses who are in the third row who said when they saw this door open and light streaming in from the parking lot and a guy standing there wearing a mask they thought he was an usher.

O'REILLY: All right. So that makes sense. So the guy comes in, he scopes it out. He then goes outside and he jiggers the door somewhat so that he can get back in. He arms himself and dresses himself in his car.

Now, the apprehension -- and usually cases like this people either kill themselves or the cops gun them down. They captured this guy. Do you know how they did that?

SCOTT: I do not absolutely. Although the witnesses that I was talking to said that at one point his gun seemed to jam although he had a number of weapons on him. Maybe his favorite gun for whatever reason something jammed and he just set the gun down and sauntered away to the back end of the theater and seemed to just sit there and wait.

Now there are also reports that he had taken some kind of prescription medicine a couple of hours before the attack. Whether that had anything to do with it; whether that can be confirmed, I do not know.

O'REILLY: All right. Then the police go to his apartment. Now, Aurora is a place with massive amounts of apartments.

SCOTT: Yes.

O'REILLY: I mean I lived in one called The Falls. And people come to Colorado from all over the West because you can make money in Denver. There are jobs in Denver and then they get apartments. That's what this guy did. He came from California. He came on in.

But the apartment I understand, he had booby traps because he wanted to kill more people who were going to investigate him after the fact. Is that true?

SCOTT: That's the case -- it seems to be the case. It may have been, I wonder whether he wanted to kill some of his neighbors because his neighbors say that around midnight which is must have been about the time he left to come to the theater, which is just a short distance away, they heard loud techno music repeating over and over again in his apartment and they went up and banged on the door. They live downstairs. They banged on the door to try to get him to stop. Well, if they had taken that -- if they had opened that door who knows what may have happen.

O'REILLY: Well yes, obviously he was bent on killing as many people as possible. And as I said before it doesn't have anything to do with gun control. It doesn't have to do with anything other than this guy -- and again this guy didn't have anything in his past, Jon, I don't think to indicate any violence. He had no record.

SCOTT: No.

O'REILLY: He was a placid guy by all the accounts. Although his mother said something very interesting when she was confronted in San Diego. She told the authorities according to the reports she wasn't surprised that this happened. We don't know any more than that, though, do we at this point?

SCOTT: Not at this point. All indications are that he just snapped. You know my -- my high school teacher here in Denver said something to me once that I will always remember. That the mind can get sick just like the body can and he must have been subject to something like that.

O'REILLY: Yes and there's nothing any of us can do about it.

All right, Jon Scott, everybody. He's a native of Colorado and actually Jon worked for the ABC station out there and I worked for the CBS station out there interesting.

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