Maine State Police say they discovered a small arsenal and several Aurora shooting news clippings on Sunday when they arrested a man speeding at 112 mph down the Maine Turnpike.
Police said that the weapons stockpile found in 49-year-old Timothy Courtois's car included four handguns, an AK-47 assault weapon, ammunition and articles about the Batman Massacre in Colorado, that left 12 people dead and 51 injured at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Trooper Phillip Alexander told the Kennebec Journal that Courtois' demeanor also surprised him.
"He was unusually calm given the excessive speed. That raised a red flag with me," Alexander said.
Most chilling, however, was Courtois' claim that he attended a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" on Saturday night with a loaded gun in his backpack and, at the time of his arrest, was speeding to Derry, N.H. to shoot his former employer, according to FoxNews.com.
“He didn’t speak to any intent to harm people [at the theater], but I’m sure a lot of this is going to continue to come out” as agencies including the state police, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continue their investigations, Maine State Police Lt. Kevin Donovan told reporters on Monday.
When police searched Courtois’ home in Biddeford, Maine, after his arrest, they uncovered more guns, including a machine gun, rifles, handguns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The Kennebec Journal said that during the search, officials found a fully automatic rifle that is not legal for civilians to own,
Despite Courtois' claims, it remains unclear whether Courtois really brought the gun to the theatre.
A representative for the New Hampshire-based Cinemagic theatre chain, which operates seven movie theaters in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, told the paper that the chain prohibits backpacks and large bags from theaters.
In addition, the spokesman said the company has not determined whether Courtois did in fact attend the movie on Saturday or if he brought a bag with him, as he told police.
Another question that remains, at least for the trooper who arrested him, is why Courtois didn't resist arrest, despite having a full arsenal close by.
“Was he asking to get caught? Was it a cry for help? It could have been,” Alexander told the Kennebec Journal.
Courtois is charged with speeding and having a concealed weapon, with additional charges under review, MyFoxBoston.com reported.
Courtois appeared in court on Monday to plead not guilty. He is being held in the York County Jail on a $50,000 cash bail.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story incorrectly attributed the discovery an fully automatic rifle that is illegal for civilians to own to the Bangor Daily News. That information is now properly credited to the Kennebec Journal.
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