By Jeremy Jojola
AURORA, Colo. (KUSA) - A man who shares the same name as the Aurora theater shooting suspect says he was the target of online harassment and has lost clients at work since the incident.
"You know, going to places and showing my ID. People have jokes. Insensitive jokes," said James Holmes, who lives in Aurora and works as a personal trainer. "I lost a couple of clients since the incident because they say they didn't want to be associated with the name."
"The victims of this shooting, I don't want to ever overlook that," he said, speaking of his troubles since the incident.
Holmes says within hours of the shooting, his phone erupted with dozens of text messages as people took to his Facebook wall, some accusing him of being the shooter.
One woman posted his photograph online and asked her Facebook friends, "Really, does this actually look like the face of a killer?"
Holmes, who is black and was born and raised in Colorado, said he was at first baffled at the hate messages he received even after the suspect's photo was released.
"The obvious physical part, that's what threw me," he said. "I think people just wanted to reach out and express their feelings and I happen to have the same name."
Holmes says most of the rude messages have stopped, but some fallout continues, including difficulties finding another job.
"There have been some instances where I've applied for a job and they call me and ask me if it's a joke," Holmes said.
Holmes says he doesn't plan on changing his name, despite the troubles he's experienced. He continues to work as a personal trainer at the 24 Hour Fitness in Aurora.