On Jan. 7, 2013, details about the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre that left 12 dead and 58 injured, were revealed in a preliminary hearing for James Holmes, the suspected gunman.
Holmes is accused of entering Theater 9 during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012, opening fire on the unsuspecting audience. He purchased his ticket for the movie 12 days prior.
According to NBC News, Officer Jason Oviatt of the Aurora Police Dept. spoke at the hearing, saying Holmes was apprehended only a few feet from the theater in the multiplex parking lot wearing a helmet, a gas mask, and body armor. Oviatt said he found Holmes near a car after following a trail of blood to the back of the theater.
Initially, the Oviatt thought Holmes might be a SWAT officer due to his dress, however, once he realized he was a suspect, he handcuffed him.
“He seemed very detached from it all,” Oviatt added.
He described Holmes as having dilated pupils, dripping with sweat, and said his body odor was overpowering.
At one point Oviatt broke down on the stand when he talked about finding the body of the youngest victim of the shooting—a six year old girl.
Another officer, Justin Grizzle, said Holmes smirked at police when asked if he was alone.
Grizzle described what he witnessed upon entering the theater after the shooting, saying the floor was blood soaked, people inside were screaming, the alarm was going off, and the movie continued to play on the massive screen. He saw both dead bodies and “some gunshot victims that were just crawling to get out,” reports NBC.
The officer noted he made four trips to the hospital with victims of the shooting. One victim, stand-up comedian Caleb Medley, 24, who had been shot in the face, was in the back seat of his cruiser and would periodically stop breathing. Grizzle continued to yell expletives at him—ordering him to stay alive. Medley miraculously survived his devastating injuries and left the hospital in September 2012.
Officer Aaron Blue spoke about some of the victims he encountered, saying one woman, Jessica Ghawi, 24, had been shot in the head and leg. She stopped breathing every time she was moved, he said. After transporting her to University Hospital, she died from her injuries.
According to ABC News, Holmes had a full beard, brown hair, and wore a red jumpsuit to the hearing. He reportedly showed no reaction to the gut-wrenching testimony, which is slated to last the entire week.
Holmes is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder, possession of explosives, and crime of violence, ABC reports. He has not yet entered a plea, but his attorneys believe he is mentally ill.