Case Study: Theater Shooting the Term Crisis

Pages: 20 (5857 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

Theater Shooting

The term crisis originates from the Greek poet Homer in his great story of war and triumph the Iliad. In this story the battle of Troy was held in a geographical area called Crisis. The term has evolved today to mean any unexpected event or happening that creates certain levels of uncertainty that threatens the peaceful existence of the environment. Surprise, challenge and struggle are all important qualities of a crisis.

Today's modern world provides plenty of opportunity for crisis and therefore crisis management. In a large crisis the infrastructure and institutional organizations responsible for the health and welfare of its citizens are tested and their actions are put in to use for better or for worse. Crisis management is usually reserved for governmental and law enforcement agencies that are armed and equipped with the appropriate resources to fix and alleviate the situation that may be presented as harmful on a large scale to the masses of population.

Also in today's culture, mass killing, death and darkness are very popular themes amongst the people in western civilization. The military complex that is so widespread throughout America centers around the death and destruction of other peoples. Media and television outlets promote a culture of death, war and despair most of the time. Movies, books and programming is excessively violent, gory and nihilistic in its philosophy. Mass shootings in America in schools and other public places are common place yet still proved a level of crisis necessary to shock and awe people into new levels of understanding and awareness.

Mass shootings in America in the last two decades have taken on a ritualistic quality that speaks to greater physical and spiritual forces that appear to be at work within our own communities. It seems that the simple regard for life and the appreciation for other's to live has significantly diminished when such acts of horror are played for seemingly no reason. Preventing such attacks and events is a job for law enforcement officials that seem to be lacking, however when faced with such events, reactions and life saving efforts are usually performed in a heroic manner. In many cases if it were not for mass shootings, police and other law enforcement officials would not be able to show off their prowess and management skills.

One such shooting on 20 July 2012 provides a useful example for learning how to incorporate some of the finer notions about law enforcement and their role in mass shootings and other dangerous crisis. In this case, an alleged shooter, entered a movie theater on a warm summer night and began shooting and attacking movie goers as they waited for their show to come on screen. The terror and sheer horror that accompanies such an action is disturbing and may distort the truth in some manner when fully exploring this idea about mass violence, preventing it, and how to do such a task with the law enforcement resources currently available.

The purpose of this essay is to utilize the Aurora, Colorado shooting as a case study to investigate and address the role and roles of criminal justice organization in the management of a crisis. This essay will discuss and highlight the responses by criminal justice agencies and they affected the outcome of the total situation. The essay will discuss the lessons learned from this shooting and how they can be applied to homeland security measures. This essay will present a research statement and then proceed with a case summary. The literature extant on this issue will also be reviewed and discussed as to its relevance to the importance of the case study.

To help make the most out of this situation and provide some reasonable explanations for what happened or what is currently happening, each important faction of the criminal justice response for this case will be evaluated and discussed as to find ways to improve on their performance. Before concluding this essay will highlight ways in which other systematic improvements may be made on the entire approach and elaborate on solutions and recommendations for other agencies who may be faced with a very similar tragedy and will be expected to perform at a high level of standard.

Research Statement

The purpose of this research is to gather important data and information regarding the response to the crisis that occurred at the Aurora movie theater were 12 people were shot down in cold blood while watching a Batman movie on 20 July 2012. This research looks to investigate whether or not more could have been done by certain criminal justice or law enforcement agencies during this challenging time. The research will try to unlock some of the key problems that are associated with this discussion and the many political and other distorting factors that may be or have a detrimental effect on understanding what exactly happened on this fateful and violent night in the rocky mountain town of Aurora, CO.

Before looking at the detailed response that occurred during this crisis, it is very important to set the stage correctly and provide a detailed and accurate case summary that provides the background to the performance. It is important to note that this case has not been fully investigated by law enforcement officials, and the main suspect for this crime has not even been tried yet. It is therefore tempting yet premature to suggest that all the correct answers will be summarily delivered in this research when many facts of the case are simply not known yet. The true value of investigation such as this should focus on a myriad of items to gather a grammatical base on which to formulate opinions and arguments that can distinguish fact from fiction.

The literature available to this topic is also woefully short on providing any substantial information about the case and this effort is relegated to a preliminary understanding of the events that occurred that night. This research however can provide some useful knowledge regarding the shooting response and identify behaviors and actions that can provide some ideas on how to best handle crisis situations despite the overwhelming conditions that usually accompany such violent and turbulent actions.

Case Background

It is very important when citing information relating to this case, that the case itself is still under investigation and the trial of the only suspect of the shootings, James Holmes has not even begun yet. While it may be convenient in many ways to assume we know exactly what happened on the day of the shooting and the days and weeks leading up to the attack, but in reality, there is much more to be learned about this situation, and the best this essay can offer is a preliminary investigation into this particular case study.

This case still provides much learning opportunity for those interested in learning about crisis management and the many facets that are necessary for agencies to realize success in this area. Much has been written and speculated about the incidents that occurred in the Aurora shooting and this summary will attempt to provide a general background of the case without relying on assumed information that has not been brought to light or which, in many cases, may never be brought to light. The narrative of the background of this case is important in understanding some of the finer details that are necessary for responding agencies to assist and help those experiencing the crisis, and thereby managing the situation to some level of successful degree.

The shootings themselves took place on 12 July 2012 very early in the morning. A new and highly anticipated action movie entitled "The Dark Knight Returns" was being debuted at multiplex theater in Aurora, CO, a suburb of Denver. Pearson (2012) wrote "At least 12 people were killed in the rampage and 58 were injured, one fewer than earlier reported. Of those injured nearly everyone was shot. Ten of the victims were killed inside the theater while two others died at hospitals."

Supposedly, the suspect, James Holmes a young graduate student, donned tactical battle gear and armed himself with many weapons and grenades and attacked a packed theater full of movie goers. Holmes entered the theater by buying a ticket, left the theater through a rear exit, returned to the theater, and began his attack.

Bustillo (2012) reported that "From the front of the theater, the shooter set off what witnesses and authorities described as tear gas or a smoke bomb. He then started firing weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle and shotgun, as the horrified crowd realized too late that the dark figure in their midst wasn't connected to the violent action movie." The attacks happened nearly 30 minutes after the film had started. Some reports recall seeing Holmes answering a phone call, leave the theater and then returned in battle gear in attack mode.

The act itself is one of great physical strength and stamina. Such a violent and continued attack that was demonstrated by the shooter or shooters that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Theater Shooting the Term Crisis.  (2014, January 31).  Retrieved September 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/theater-shooting-term-crisis/4814341

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"Theater Shooting the Term Crisis."  31 January 2014.  Web.  20 September 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/theater-shooting-term-crisis/4814341>.

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"Theater Shooting the Term Crisis."  Essaytown.com.  January 31, 2014.  Accessed September 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/theater-shooting-term-crisis/4814341.