The suspect in a shooting spree at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater was packing as many as 6,000 rounds with the ability to shoot up to 50 a minute, the police chief said Friday evening, as authorities began to notify families that their loved ones are among the victims in the deadly rampage.
Relatives of two of the dead confirmed late Friday that their loved ones were killed during the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
The family of Alex Sullivan issued a statement confirming his death. He died on his 27th birthday.
Twenty-three-year-old Micayla Medek was also among the dead.
Her father's cousin, Anita Busch, says the sad news at least brought peace to the family.
The brother of Jessica Ghawi previously confirmed his sister's death.
The suspect, James Holmes, is in custody, though police have yet to gain entry to his apartment, which they say appears to have been booby-trapped with explosives. Police Chief Dan Oates said Friday evening that efforts to enter the apartment were postponed until Saturday, when more resources would be brought in.
"He looked like an assassin ready to go to war," said Jordan Crofter, a moviegoer who was unhurt in the attack early Friday, about a half-hour after the special midnight opening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Holmes, used a military-style semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol, stopping only to reload.
The suspect marched up the aisle in the stadium-style theater, picking off those who tried to flee, witnesses said. Authorities said he hit scores of people, with a few of the 70 victims suffering their injuries not by gunfire but in the ensuing chaos. At least one person was struck in an adjacent theater by gunfire that went through the wall.
"He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed," said Jennifer Seeger, adding that bullet casings landed on her head and burned her forehead.
Within minutes, frantic emergency services calls brought some 200 police officers, ambulances and emergency crews to the theater. Holmes was captured in the parking lot. Police said they later found that his nearby apartment was booby-trapped.
Authorities gave no motive for the attack. The FBI said there was no indication of ties to any terrorist groups.
In New York City, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said: "It clearly looks like a deranged individual. He has his hair painted red. He said he was the Joker, obviously the enemy of Batman."
The biggest mystery surrounding the 24-year-old doctoral student was why he would have committed the shooting, as police allege.
A longtime neighbor in San Diego, where Holmes grew up, remembers only a "shy guy ... a loner" from a churchgoing family. In addition to playing soccer at Westview High School, he ran cross country.
It was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.
It was the deadliest in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre in suburban Denver in 1999, when two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves.
Oates said police soon will start meeting with the families of shooting victims to tell them the fate of their loved ones. The last of the 10 deceased victims at the theater was removed Friday afternoon. Two others had died later from their injuries.
Oates said there are 70 victims but not all were shot. Eleven are in critical condition.