Suspect in Colorado theater shooting makes court appearance

Posted July 23, 2012, at 8:58 p.m.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — James Holmes, the suspect in last week’s deadly shooting rampage in a suburban movie theater, made his first court appearance Monday, his hair dyed reddish-orange in an apparent nod to the comic book world of the Caped Crusader.

Friday’s shooting — during a showing of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” — killed 12 people and injured 58.

Wearing a maroon jail jumpsuit, Holmes, 24, spent much of the brief hearing with his eyes down, frowning or staring off into space. Unshaven, he appeared dazed as the legal proceedings took place around him, even shutting his eyes at one point.

Police searched Holmes’ booby-trapped Aurora apartment over the weekend, recovering Batman mementos and posters. Last week, police officials, including New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, had told reporters that Holmes considered himself an arch-villain from the Batman mythology.

Holmes was told he is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder. Formal charges are to be presented next Monday.

Holmes has been held in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility since Friday. After the hearing, the former science graduate student was returned to the county jail, where he is being held without bail.

Lightning strike kills man and his dog in Utah

BOULDER MOUNTAIN, Utah — A Utah man and his dog are dead after they were struck by lightning during a fishing trip at a mountain lake, authorities said Monday.

Jesse King, 24, of Bicknell and his pet died over the weekend during a storm on Boulder Mountain, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said. King and his dog sought shelter under a tree. They died instantly when they were hit.

King’s wife was at a nearby campsite and found his body.

Attacks bring Iraq’s deadliest day in 2 years

BAGHDAD — A startling spasm of violence shook more than a dozen Iraqi cities Monday, killing over 100 people in coordinated bombings and shootings and wounding twice as many in the country’s deadliest day in more than two years.

With the U.S. military gone and the government mired in infighting, the Iraqi wing of al-Qaida has vowed to retake areas it once controlled and push the nation back toward civil war. Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s attacks, nearly all of them struck in the capital and in northern Iraqi cities where al-Qaida can most easily regain a foothold.

In one brazen assault, three carloads of gunmen pulled up at an Iraqi army base near the northeastern town of Udaim and opened fire, killing 13 soldiers before escaping, two senior police officials said.

In another, a car bomb exploded outside a government office in Sadr City, the poor, sprawling Shiite neighborhood in northeast Baghdad. Sixteen people died.

The deadliest attack took place just north of Baghdad in the town of Taji, where a double bombing killed at least 41 people. The blasts were timed to hit as police rushed to help victims from a series of five explosions minutes earlier.

The death toll of at least 110 was the worst for a single day in Iraq since May 10, 2010, when a string of nationwide attacks killed at least 119 people.

Surfer killed by shark off France’s Reunion Island

PARIS — Authorities say a shark killed a 22-year-old surfer in the Indian Ocean waters off France’s Reunion Island.

Island government spokesman Serge Bideau says the man was in a surfing spot west of the island Monday when a shark bit off his right leg.

Witnesses helped the victim, identified as island resident Alexandre Rassica, to shore where rescue workers tried in vain to resuscitate him.

The type of shark involved was not immediately clear.

The number of shark attacks has risen in Reunion Island in the last two years. There have been seven attacks — not all fatal — since the start of 2011.

France launched an investigation this year into the reasons behind the growing number of such attacks.

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