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Colorado shooting suspect worked for a summer as camp counselor in L.A. County

July 21, 2012 |  9:29 am

Click for more photosJames Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, worked for the summer of 2008 as a cabin counselor at a Los Angeles summer camp -- Camp Max Straus.

Camp Max Straus, founded in 1938 in the hills above Glendale, is a nonsectarian program for underprivileged children ages 7-14, run by Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles.

In a statement to The Times, Randy Schwab, chief executive of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and director of Camp Max Straus, wrote that Holmes was responsible for “the care and guidance of a group of approximately 10 children."

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“His role was to insure that these children had a wonderful camp experience by helping them learn confidence, self-esteem and how to work in small teams to effect positive outcomes. These skills are learned through activities such as archery, horseback riding, swimming, art, sports and high ropes course.”

In a separate email to the Times, Schwab wrote, “He was a counselor that had no incidents or disciplinary concerns.  That summer provided the kids a wonderful camp experience without incident.”

“Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families and friends of those involved in this horrible tragedy,” Schwab wrote. “On behalf of Camp Max Straus I want to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences.”

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Holmes, 24, is alleged to have fatally shot 12 people and wounded 58 others in Friday's rampage at a post-midnight screening of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." The gunman was dressed in head-to-foot body armor, including a helmet, gas mask, vest and throat-guard.


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--Sam Quinones


Photo: Shooting suspect James Holmes in an undated photo. Credit: University of Colorado Denver