July 24, 2012 / 2:13 PM / 6 years ago

Colorado shooting victim's wife has baby; 20 still hospitalized

AURORA, Colo. (Reuters) - A 21-year-old woman who escaped injury in the Colorado theater shooting rampage gave birth to a boy on Tuesday while her husband was in the same hospital in a medically induced coma with a gunshot wound to the head.

Katie Medley and her husband, Caleb, both wearing Batman apparel, were at a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” in the Denver suburb of Aurora when a gunman clad in tactical body armor, helmet and gas mask opened fire during a midnight showing early on Friday. Twelve people, including a 6-year-old girl, were killed and 58 wounded.

Twenty people remained hospitalized on Tuesday. Seven were in critical condition and two in serious condition.

James Eagan Holmes, 24, was arrested behind the theater shortly after the massacre and was in court for the first time on Monday, appearing dazed and sleepy. At the hearing, the judge set a date of next Monday for formal charges to be filed.

The judge ruled on Tuesday that no cameras would be allowed in the courtroom when Holmes is charged. Holmes’ initial appearance on Monday was televised.

Caleb Medley, a 23-year-old aspiring comedian, was listed in critical condition on Tuesday at University of Colorado Denver Hospital. A website set up to raise money for his care because the Medleys have no health insurance, www.calebmedley.com/help, said he had lost his right eye, suffered brain damage and was in a medically induced coma.

Katie Medley gave birth in the same hospital where her husband was being treated.

A spokeswoman for the hospital relayed the following statement from the Medleys: “The family is excited to say that Hugo Jackson Medley was born at 7:11 a.m. (Mountain Time, 0911 EDT) this morning. Both mom and baby are doing great.”

Actor Christian Bale, who stars in the Batman films, visited the Medical Center of Aurora on Tuesday to meet some of the shooting victims, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Authorities have not determined a motive for the shooting spree. Police said Holmes, a former neuroscience student who filed paperwork in June to drop out of his graduate program, left his 800-square-foot (75-square-metre) apartment booby-trapped with explosives that authorities said could have destroyed the entire complex.

Local and state bomb experts conducted a controlled demolition over the weekend. The building remains closed and police have not said when residents will be allowed to return.

Signs drawn on fabric are seen hanging from a tree at a memorial for victims behind the theater where a gunman opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado July 24, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Holmes is in solitary confinement to protect him from other prisoners. He had recently sought to leave a doctoral degree program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical School, a few blocks from his apartment.

The movie house massacre has spurred renewed debate in the United States over gun control, but there appeared little interest on either side of the aisle in Washington in tackling the issue.


Slideshow (7 Images)

“I think the widespread view is that somebody who is that unbalanced will find some way to do harm,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said. “And we have many areas of the country that have very strict gun control laws and it seems not to have had any impact on the incidences that are in question.”

“So I don’t sense any movement among either Democrats or Republicans in the direction of thinking that stricter gun control laws would likely have prevented this horrible occurrence in Colorado,” McConnell said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it was too soon following the tragedy to have the discussion.

“I think we should just wait for a reasonable period of time before people are off making statements about what they should do and what they shouldn’t do,” said Reid, a Democrat.

Asked by reporters about his personal stance on limiting large-capacity ammunition magazines, a type of which was used in the Colorado shooting, Reid showed irritation with the question, responding, “You guys, I‘m not going to be here with each of you debating gun control.”

President Barack Obama, who traveled to Colorado on Sunday to comfort family members and victims of the shooting, could speak about the gun control issue more broadly, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday, declining to offer details or a time frame.

“The Dark Knight Rises” took in $160.8 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices over the weekend, which was well below pre-opening estimates of a $170 million to $198 million debut, but still a strong number for the film that box-office watchers said felt the impact of Friday’s shooting.

A fundraising drive at givingfirst.org for victims of the shooting has raised nearly $2 million, including donations from Warner Bros, the studio behind the movie.

Colorado’s Fox31 television station in Denver reported that Warner Bros. had donated $1 million, citing sources, but a studio spokeswoman would not confirm a specific amount.

Additional reporting by Keith Coffman, Richard Cowan and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney

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