Arlene Holmes, the mother of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes, has suggested that ABC News mischaracterized her when it reported that her initial statement to the reporter, “you have the right person,” was a reference to her son.
“This statement is to clarify a statement made by ABC media. I was awakened by a call from a reporter by ABC on July 20 about 5:45 in the morning. I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time,” Holmes said in a statement this afternoon, read to the national press by attorney Lisa Damiani. “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 and he told me about a shooting in Aurora,” she continues. “He asked for a comment. I told him I could not comment because I did not know if the person he was talking about was my son, and I would need to find out.”
In the first paragraph of its initial report on Friday, ABC News reported that it had identified the correct James Holmes because his mother “told ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, saying, ‘You have the right person.’”
If Arlene Holmes’ latest statement is true, it means that she did not tell ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, calling into question the reporting of a network that has already been marred by one inaccuracy.
In the very same article, published on Friday, ABC News initially suggested that the suspect might have connections to the Colorado Tea Party Patriots. The report, based off a single web profile of a man with the same name, was inaccurate. ABC News and one of the reporters, Brian Ross, later apologized for the “mistake” in a statement that now tops the very same article in questsion.