Adam Martinez and Chris Elkins, Castroville Elementary School classmates of accused Colorado shooter James Holmes, were in shock over the weekend, unable to reconcile their childhood memories of a young man they both agreed was “an exemplary person — he never gave any trouble, and never got in trouble himself.”
“It’s such a small community. Everybody knows one another. We’ve all known each other since we were kids, and it’s such a shock that someone you knew personally would end up in Colorado doing something like that,” Elkins said.
Martinez, now 24, was clear on Holmes’ early promise as an intellectual.
“I remember him being exceptionally intelligent. He excelled in academics. He always was in the top of the class ... He was a pretty good athlete, too. But he wasn’t a loner back then — he played, he got along well with all the kids. He was a nice, quiet kid. You’d never think that something like this ... But in thirteen years, a lot can happen.”
Elkins, also 24, affirmed his friend’s assessment of Holmes as gregarious. “He always got picked first, for flag football, for example, because he was fast. He was friends with everybody else, too. I had detention quite a few times, and I never saw him in there.”
Although neither Martinez nor Elkins had heard anything from their classmate since then, they both were firmly in agreement there was no way to see this tragedy coming.
“You know, there’s kids, like bullies, they don’t get along with other kids, or the whole population, or just the student body. Like social outcasts, that you can tell, but he wasn’t like that. He got along with everybody,” says Martinez.
When asked if they had ever noticed any false notes, Martinez and Elkins emphatically said no.
But Holmes was a competitor academically even at a young age, especially with classmate Chris Chun. “They were always challenging each other to get the best grades,” Elkins said, “but that didn’t make Jimmy skip recess. He was really active. He played with all the other kids.”
And at age 11, Holmes was also very good with computer programming. “He set up our class website. He did that along with Chris Chun” Elkins said.
Both Martinez and Elkins, now strapping young men, thought it was strange how well the descriptions of Holmes from his high school days fit the way they remembered him from elementary school.
“Nice kid, great in academics?” that’s Jimmy Holmes, Adam Martinez said. “I don’t think anyone ever had anything bad to say about him. Ever.”
So it seems his younger years, his high school years relatively smooth, he is achieving, people know him, he has respect for not only being 'clever' in the intellectual sense, even competitive academically, but gets along with others, and does okay at something like running, participates in other fields apart from scholary activities. This is backed up by other schoolmates saying he was able to go into classes and often not even take notes but still achieve 'A's.
As Shytiger points out this later on grinds to a halt-for whatever reasons. Smart up until a point, maybe some involvement with drugs, increasing alienation? Getting out of a former, more comfortable social network?