US gunman bought 6,000 rounds of ammo

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 22 2012 12:39 AM | Updated as of Jul 22 2012 08:39 AM

AURORA - The gunman arrested over the Colorado movie theater massacre bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet in the last two months, the local police chief said Friday.

All the ammunition was purchased legally, as were four weapons bought by James Holmes at local gunshops over the last 60 days, according to Aurora police chief Dan Oates.

In an end-of-day update, he amended slightly the number of victims of the shooting at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," from 71 to 70. Twelve of them died, including 10 in the theater.

"Nearly everyone was shot," he said, adding that a "handful" of those treated in hospital did not have gunshot wounds, but suffered other injuries in the mayhem.

"In the last 60 days, (Holmes) purchased four guns at local metro gun shops and through the Internet, he purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition," said Oates, who occasionally fought to control his emotion.

The ammunition included more than 3,000 rounds bought by the 24-year-old for an assault rifle, 3,000 rounds for two Glock handguns and 300 rounds for a shotgun.

"Also through the Internet, he purchased multiple magazines for the .223 caliber assault rifle, including one 100-round drum magazine, which was recovered from the scene," Oates added.

"I'm told by experts that with that drum magazine, he could have gotten off 50 to 60 rounds... within one minute. And as far as we know, it was a pretty rapid pace of fire in that theater."

He added: "My understanding is that all the weapons that he possessed he possessed legally, and all the clips that he possessed, he possessed legally, and all the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally."

The shooting, the latest such incident, has revived the perennial debate about gun control in the United States.

The well-funded US gun lobby, led by the influential National Rifle Association (NRA), accuses President Barack Obama of favoring a UN treaty as a ruse to limit Americans' constitutional right to own as many guns as they wish.

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