James Holmes, the man suspected of opening fire and killing 12 people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, has been charged with 24 counts of murder.

Holmes, 24, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for each person who died in the massacre, one for allegedly intending to cause harm and another for acting with extreme indifference to human life.

He was also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder, possession of explosives and committing a crime of violence.

james holmes

James Holmes first appeared in court on Monday suspected of murdering 12 people

Unlike his previous court appearance, the proceedings were not televised. District Chief Judge William Sylvester said coverage could interfere with Holmes' right to a fair trial.

Dressed in a red prison jumpsuit, Holmes appeared before judges in Denver last Monday, in a hearing which was televised.

Sporting dyed orange hair, he appeared somewhat dazed, occasionally nodding his head and rolling his eyes.

Also on Monday, it was revealed that Holmes amassed a huge arsenal of weaponry through online purchases.

The 24-year-old is a former PhD neuroscience student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The tragedy unfolded on Friday night, when a gunman burst into the theatre and hurled tear gas before opening fire.

Witnesses said the shooter was wearing a gas mask and body armour during the attack. He is also reported to have cried: "I am the joker" before the killing began.

A bomb disposal squad was at the scene examining a Hyundai in the cinema's car park for further explosive devices and a SWAT team later disarmed further explosive devices at Holmes's apartment, four miles from the theatre.

Justin Joseph, of Fox affiliate KDVR said the tear gas caused "mass panic" and that as people got up and tried to flee the theatre, they became "moving targets" as the gunman opened fire.

The screening was taking place at the Century 16 Theatre in Aurora and the trailers for the film had just ended when the attack began.

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The police booking shot of Holmes

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Brenda Stuart of 850 KOA Radio told Sky News that the audience initially: "Thought the gunshots were part of the movie."

Paul Otermat saw the attack unfold, and told Sky News he saw a man in a black jacket and cap walk "pretty casually" to the middle of the screen.

He said: "I thought it was a publicity stunt at first. Then he threw tear gas at the crowd and started firing shots."

james holmes

Holmes is pictured here on his Adult Friendfinder profile

Thousands of mourners last night attended an open-air vigil for the victims of the shootings.

Cheers rang out as the names of the victims were read out and many carried banners and released balloons in tribute.

The youngest victim of the shooting was six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan.

The other 11 victims were 26-year-old navy veteran Jon Blunk, student AJ Boik, 18, sports journalist Jessica Ghawi, 24, sailor John Larimer, 27, cinema-worker Matt McQuinn, 27, Subway sandwich worker Micayla Medek, 23, bartender Alex Sullivan, 27, psychology graduate Alexander Teves, 24, Air Force reservist Jesse Childress, 29, businessman Gordon Cowden, 51 and 32-year-old Rebecca Wingo.

james holmes

An earlier photo of Holmes, believed to have been taken from a school yearbook

Another 58 people were injured in the incident.

Holmes was reportedly been moved into solitary confinement for his own protection ahead of Monday's court appearance.

On Sunday President Barack Obama flew to Denver to meet with the victims’ families.

In an address to the nation, he described the massacre as a “heinous crime” and said he was visiting "as a father and a husband", not as President.

The Holmes family, who live in San Diego, have spoken of their sadness at the tragedy.

Reading out a statement on their behalf, Lieutenant Andra Brown of the SD Police Department, said: "Our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy."

"We ask that the media respect our privacy at this difficult time... We are still trying to process this information and appreciate that people respect our privacy."

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  • James Holmes makes his first court appearance at the Arapahoe County on July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" July 20, in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images)

  • James Holmes makes his first court appearance at the Arapahoe County on July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" July 20, in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Carol Chambers

    Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County District Attorney, arrives at the county courthouse, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo., the day of the first court appearance of James E. Holmes, who is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and who could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations, stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Members of the news media wait for the arrival of family members of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members and friends of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    People stand near a cart full of paperwork labeled for the courtroom at Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members and friends of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 59 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members and friends of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members and friends of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members and friends of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

    Families members and friends of the victims of last Friday's movie theater mass shooting arrive at the Arapahoe County Courthouse for James Holmes' first court appearance July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to Aurora, Colorado, police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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  • Blennes Quientana

    Blennes Quientana writes a message on a cross at a memorial for the victims in the shooting across the street from the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Sunday, July 22, 2012. James Eagen Holmes has been charged in the shooting at the Aurora theater early Friday that killed twelve people and injured more than 50.He is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Anne Marie Hochhalter, 30, bottom, and her friend Roxy Chesser, 30, second from right, attend a prayer vigil, held to remember the lost and injured in Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater, in a park outside the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora, Colo., Sunday July 22, 2012. Hochhalter, a paralyzed victim of the Columbine High School tragedy over 12 years ago, and other survivors of the 1999 massacre reached out to people who survived the theater shooting. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Family members of the victims of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., comfort each other, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Family members of the victims of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., comfort each other, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A woman carries a wreath, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A group of friends with various connections to the deceased and wounded gather at a prayer vigil outside the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora, Colo., Sunday July 22, 2012. The vigil was held to remember the dead and injured in the shooting rampage Friday at movie theater in in Aurora. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Erica Jones

    A tearful Erica Jones writes a message on a cross dedicated to Alex Sullivan at a memorial for the victims across the street from the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Sunday, July 22, 2012. She was friends with Alex Sullivan who died while celebrating his 27th birthday at the movie. James Eagen Holmes has been charged in the shooting at the Aurora theater early Friday that killed twelve people and injured more than 50. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Jovandy Juarez, Angelica Chacon-Valdez

    Jovandy Juarez, left, and Angelica Chacon-Valdez visit a memorial for the victims in the shooting across the street from the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Sunday, July 22, 2012. James Eagen Holmes has been charged in the shooting at the Aurora theater early Friday that killed twelve people and injured more than 50. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • In this overview, the Living Hope Baptist Church choir sing to start the a vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater, Sunday, July 22, 2012, at the Aurora Municipal Center campus in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon, Pool)

  • A woman carries a balloon that says "Missed by many, forgotten by none," as she walks to a memorial display, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • U.S. Navy officers salute Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., after they left items at a memorial display at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A man holds his face in his hands in front of a memorial after a prayer vigil Sunday, July 22, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Stills from the film
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  • Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, left, and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

  • Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, left, and Michael Caine as Alfred in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

  • Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, left, and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

  • Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

  • Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, left, and Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)

  • Tom Hardy as Bane in a scene from the action thriller "The Dark Knight Rises." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips)