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Lawyer For Holmes Family Says Mother’s Statement Was Misconstrued

A lawyer representing family members of James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado mass shooting, held a news conference Monday afternoon in San Diego.

Aired 7/23/12 on KPBS News.

A lawyer representing family members of the suspect in the Colorado mass shooting held a news conference Monday afternoon in San Diego.

Attorney Lisa Damiani reads a statement from the Holmes family about 24-year-old James Holmes, accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater.
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Above: Attorney Lisa Damiani reads a statement from the Holmes family about 24-year-old James Holmes, accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater.

Attorney Lisa Damiani addressed the media at her downtown office and read a statement from the Holmes family. She said that Arlene Holmes first heard about her son's alleged shooting when an ABC reporter called her Friday morning. Damiani clarified that when Arlene Holmes said "you have the right person" to the reporter, she was talking about herself, not her son.

“He told me about a shooting in Aurora," Arlene Holmes' statement said, which Damiani read aloud. "He asked for a comment. I told him I could not comment because I did not know if the person he was talking about was my son and I would need to find out.”

The original ABC story said Arlene Holmes "told ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, saying, 'You have the right person.'"

Damiani is representing the family of 24-year-old Holmes, who made his first court appearance Monday in a Denver suburb where he's being held without bond.

The Holmes' family statement read, "Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We are still trying to process this information."

Damiani refused to answer questions about James Holmes and his relationship to the family. She said the family spoke with local FBI agents on Friday, but said the Aurora Police Department has not yet contacted them.

A spokeswoman for the Aurora police said she could not confirm that information.

Authorities said Holmes opened fire on a crowded movie theater Friday at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured.

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