AURORA, Colo. -- The area around the apartment of mass movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes in suburban Denver was evacuated Friday and police were trying to determine how to disarm booby traps made of what Aurora police said appeared to be "very sophisticated" explosives or flammable materials.
Authorities evacuated nearly an entire block, including five apartment buildings, and numerous fire trucks were on the scene about 4 miles from the theater.
Earlier, FBI agents and police used a hook-and-ladder firetruck to reach Holmes' third-floor apartment, said Aurora police Chief Dan Oates. Using a camera at the end of a 12-foot pole, officers were able to get a view inside and determined that the apartment was booby trapped.
"We're trying to determine how to disarm the flammable or explosive materials in there," said FBI agent Agent James F. Yacone. "The pictures are pretty disturbing as far as how sophisticated it is. This could be a very long wait."
Holmes, 24, was arrested after he allegedly entered a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, and opened fire on moviegoers early Friday, killing 12 and injuring dozens more.
Police started evacuating residents in the area around Holmes apartment building at about 6 a.m. MT, reported NBC contributor Bill Briggs, who was on the scene.
Darnell Woods was returning from his overnight shift at a local Home Depot at 6 a.m. and had been in his third-floor apartment in the building across the street from Holmes' building for just a few minutes when he was ordered outside by police.
"They said that we had to get out because they didn't know if his building was going to explode," said Woods, who was sitting on a curb in the hot morning sun, a half block south of Holmes' building on Paris Street. He had been perched on that spot since for three and half hours. He was sweating and wondering when he could back inside his apartment. "From my place, I can look out at his building so everyone on my side was told to leave."