James Holmes, the man accused of the deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., allegedly visited a pawn shop in Hillcrest just months before Friday’s shooting, a local business owner said.
David Casper, owner of Hillcrest Pawnbrokers on 6th Avenue, said Holmes – who’s originally from San Diego -- came into his store to discuss firearms within the last few months.
Casper recognized Holmes when images of him appeared in the media following the massacre, which left at least 12 victims dead and 58 injured at a Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“When I saw his picture this morning, first thing that popped into my mind was, ‘Oh, this guy looks really familiar,’” said Casper.
“When they mentioned his name the first thing I did was check the computer because we do keep track of all of our gun sales. We’re a federal fire arms dealer, so everything is logged into our system. He wasn’t logged into our system, which means he didn’t officially do any transactions here,” he explained.
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On Friday, Casper also told NBC 7 San Diego that the type of weapons he discussed with Holmes at his pawn shop were weapons Casper said he would normally recommend to customers for home protection.
In looking at the firearms Holmes allegedly used in the violent attack, Casper had this to say:
“Those are common firearms I recommend to people on a regular basis. Especially the type of shotgun he had.”
Casper said he remembers Holmes specifically because he visited his Hillcrest pawn shop several times in the last year. Casper said he remembered Holmes’ eyes, since that’s the facial feature he typically focuses on when speaking with customers.
Casper said he doesn’t recall anything strange about Holmes’ demeanor in his interactions with him. He said Holmes acted like every other customer he might see on occasion.
“I’ve actually turned down customers and refused to show guns to people if they seemed a little off or a little strange,” added Casper.