UC Riverside Chancellor: "We Are Very Deeply Saddened" by Colorado Shootings

UC Riverside confirmed that James Holmes graduated with honors in 2010

By Melissa Pamer and Craig Fiegener
|  Friday, Jul 20, 2012  |  Updated 9:00 PM PDT
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Chancellor Tim White confirmed during a July 20 press conference that the suspected shooter in the Colorado movie theater massacre, James Holmes, had graduated from the University of California at Riverside in 2010.

Chancellor Tim White confirmed during a July 20 press conference that the suspected shooter in the Colorado movie theater massacre, James Holmes, had graduated from the University of California at Riverside in 2010.

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The University of California at Riverside confirmed Friday that James Holmes, the suspect in a movie theater massacre that left 71 shot and 12 dead, had graduated from the school in 2010.

The Riverside institution said that Holmes graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's of science degree in neuroscience.

Just before noon, the university confirmed their alumnus was the same man as the one suspected in the shootings during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo., outside Denver.

Watch: Colorado News Conference Part 1 | Part 2

Chancellor Tim White said during a press conference that Holmes, now 24, had been a stand-out student academically and had received a merit-based scholarship. He said neuroscience, Holmes' major, was one of the more rigorous degrees at the school.

"Academically, he was at the top of the top," White said.

"He obviously academically had the capability to do just about anything he wanted academically," White added.

The chancellor expressed "profound sadness over the horrific shootings" in a written statement.

"On behalf of the entire UCR community, I extend our deepest sympathy to the victims, their families, and all of those impacted by this tragedy," White said in a statement.

Counseling would be offered on campus and the university would cooperate with law enforcement, White said. He said there was no record of any contact between Holmes and UC police.

"Students and faculty are shocked," White said at the press conference.

Movie Theater Massacre: Photos, Videos, Articles

UC Riverside said in a brief earlier statement that Holmes attended the school from fall 2006 through spring 2010.

Holmes had lived in at least two apartments in Riverside. The repairman at one of them, Dennis Mongreve, said he recalls Holmes not being particularly welcoming.

"Usually people, when their air condition's out, are pretty happy to see you. This particular person, I just remember his face, he looked pretty ordinary. But he just wasn't real happy to have someone in his apartment," Mongreve said.

The university said the student's last known address was in San Diego.

Holmes is from the San Diego community of Rancho Penasquitos, where police were stationed at the family home. He attended Westview High School, part of the Poway Unified School District, graduating in 2006.

Holmes was studying for a neuroscience graduate degree at the University of Colorado Medical School in Aurora, which said he had enrolled in June 2011 but was in the process of withdrawing last month.

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