Updated 2:24 p.m. Monday
The mother of the suspected Colorado Massacre gunman was referring to herself—not her son—when she told a reporter he had the "right person" when asked about the shooting last week, the Holmes family attorney said Monday, adding that the parents stand behind their son.
Media reports that Arlene Holmes, the Rancho Peñasquitos mother of suspect James Holmes, was implying she wasn't surprised that her son was connected to the violence are incorrect, family attorney Lisa Damiani said at a press conference in downtown San Diego.
Damiani read a statement from Arlene Holmes describing what happened after a reporter called her at around 5:45 a.m. on Friday, just hours after the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting that killed 12 and injured 58.
"I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time. He asked if I was Arlene Holmes and if my son was James Holmes who lives in Aurora, Colorado. I answered, 'Yes, you have the right person.' I was referring to myself.
I asked him to tell me why he was calling. He told me, 'About a shooting in Aurora.' He asked for a comment. I told him I could not comment because I did not know that the person he was talking about was my son and I would need to find out."
Damiani declined to describe the family's reaction to the shooting, and said they will not comment at this time about James Holmes or their relationship with him. The attorney, however, did say, "Yes, they do," when asked by a reporter whether the family stood behind him.
The family's "hearts go out to the victims" as well, Damiani said.
Since news broke of the possible Holmes family connection to the shooting Friday, the spotlight has burned bright on the family, including dozens of media camped out at the Holmes' Rancho Peñasquitos residence all day Friday. Damiani said because of her experience with other high profile situations, she won't say where the family is now.
"I have concerns for their safety," Damiani said without citing any specific threats. Robert Holmes, the suspect's father, arrived in Colorado on Friday, but Damiani would not say whether he is still there.
Check back with Patch for updates.