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4:24 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Search Continues For Clues In Shooting Aftermath

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Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, it's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

We're going to go right to Aurora, Colorado, in a moment, the scene of the shooting early Friday at a movie theater that left 12 dead and dozens more injured. Earlier today, a bomb squad worked to disarm up to 30 explosive devices found in the apartment of suspect James Holmes.

JIM YACONE: It was an extremely dangerous environment. If a neighbor or an assuming pedestrian would have walked in that door or, God forbid, a first responder, they would have sustained significant injuries and/or lost their life.

RAZ: That's FBI special agent Jim Yacone speaking in Aurora earlier today. NPR's Carrie Kahn is also there. And, Carrie, what do we know at this hour?

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Well, we heard from the Aurora police chief at an afternoon briefing here at the headquarters. And I just want to tell you, Guy, it was the most expressive I've seen the chief since this tragedy occurred. And what he really wanted to send home - and he echoed what you heard from the special agent - was that the suspect really wanted to hurt someone when they walked in that - into his apartment. The way the explosive devices were set up, the way - when you open the door, it was set to hurt and kill the first person who walked in there.

And the chief said that first person was clearly going to be a police officer or a first responder. And he said it's clear that this guy wanted to kill a police officer. And he said everyone at this police department is taking that message personally. And so that was quite striking what the police chief had to say today.

RAZ: Carrie, you were outside the suspect's apartment today where investigators and authorities are working to defuse several explosive devices. What can you tell us about that effort?

KAHN: It's quite an extensive effort. They have the bomb squad from the county that is helping them. They also have experts from all over the country that have come to help them because they say they've never encountered such a sophisticated scene as what they're finding in this suspect's home - the booby trap, the trip wires, the number of explosive devices. And it was quite a dramatic scene there today.

We got a 15-minute warning, and the police cleared the main street that is nearest to the apartment. And officers, we heard them far away shout: Fire in the hole. Fire in the hole. And a few seconds later, you heard a huge boom in - from - coming from the apartment. Just a few pigeons cluttered away. We did not see any smoke. There was no fire. A police spokeswoman came out and said that the detonation was a success. That's exactly what they wanted to see.

And it was a robot that was sent into there to set off an explosive device to break up some of those trip wires and to neutralize some of those explosive device. It is quite a sophisticated scene that they're dealing with there at the house.

RAZ: What more do we know about the victims?

KAHN: Well, the coroner has released a list of names and ages of the victims. It's quite shocking to see that they're ranging age from a 6-year-old girl all the way to a 51-year-old man. It is the first time we're seeing a lot of these names officially. We have heard from some family members that have already come out and said that their loved ones were killed there in the theater. The coroner said that autopsies clearly show that all of these people died from gunshots. So this is the first time we're hearing about them. We're going to learn more about the victims and their personal stories.

The police here told us that they have talked to a lot of the victims that survived the attack and that are in the hospital. Just extensive gunshot wounds from this man who had hundreds of rounds of ammunition that were set off in that theater. We heard from trauma surgeons that said that they've - just the extent of damage that these guns did to these people, things that you see in war. So the victims have - that have survived have a long process of recovery and the people that are still mourning. It's going to be - take a long time.

There is a community vigil in commemoration of the victims, and that's going to happen here tomorrow at the police headquarters. And it's expected to be well-attended.

RAZ: That's NPR's Carrie Kahn in Aurora, Colorado. Carrie, thanks.

KAHN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.