The Lookout

Detective: Holmes bought movie ticket weeks before theater shooting

Sketch of suspect James Holmes being led into court on Monday. (REUTERS/Bill Robles)

[Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo.— Half of the people killed inside the movie theater suffered multiple gunshot wounds, two Arapahoe County coroners testified on Monday.

Their wounds came from the assault-style rifle, shotgun and pistol prosecutors allege James Holmes carried with him during the rampage.

Some of the people who survived the attack were burned by two canisters of tear gas police said Holmes tossed into the crowd.

Detective Todd Fredericksen testified that he had the tough task of interviewing many of the injured in the days and weeks after the shooting.

One victim told investigators it seemed the shooter was, "targeting people who were fleeing," Fredericksen told the courtroom.

Tuesday's testimony resumes at 9:30 a.m. Mountain time.

[Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET/2:35 p.m. MT]

Suspected mass murderer James Holmes purchased his movie ticket to the premier of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 8, 2012, almost two weeks before his alleged shooting rampage in the movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Detective Matthew Ingui, the first prosecution witness to testify during the afternoon session of Holmes' preliminary hearing, said Holmes' cellphone showed investigators when the ticket was bought.

Ingui was on the stand as the courtroom was showed several minutes of video from a security surveillance system inside the Century 16 complex. Cameras caught Holmes entering the theater about 45 minutes before the first shots were reported. After he used his cellphone to print his ticket at a kiosk, cameras showed Holmes dawdling near the concession stand for several minutes before finally going into Theater 9, where the shootings took place.

Holmes, who has not made a statement during the proceedings today, showed no outward emotion while the video was played for the court. However, he seemed to be watching closely as Det. Ingui used a Sharpie to mark on a photo to illustrate where people died inside the theater on July 20, 2012.

Ingui said they were able to determine when Holmes bought the movie theater ticket from his cell phone, which he used at a kiosk inside the theater nearly 30 minutes before the first shots were fired. Investigators allege that Holmes went out a side fire exit close to where his car was parked behind the complex. He then donned police-like tactical gear and got his guns before reentering the side door about 20 minutes into the film.

There was no security camera inside the movie theater, but other video showed horrific scenes of moviegoers almost trampling one another to get out the theater's front doors once shots were fired.

In the days after the rampage, Ingui was a member of a team that collected live rounds of ammunition they said Holmes left behind -- including 209 bullets for his assault rifle and 15 bullets for his handgun.

[Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. MT]

An Aurora police officer testified Monday morning that James Holmes didn't respond when he asked him behind the movie theater if accomplices helped him in the shooting rampage.

"He just looked at me and smiled," said police officer Justin Grizzle, recalling the moments after the arrest.

A prosecutor then pressed Grizzle to define the expression.

"It was like a smirk," he said.

With Holmes in custody, Grizzle, a former paramedic, told the court that he then rushed into Theater 9, the scene of massacre.

"There were several bodies lying motionless," Grizzle, who at times became emotional while on the stand. "I knew they needed to get to a hospital."

Instead of waiting for ambulances, Grizzle said he decided to start transporting the critically wounded himself.

"I didn't want anybody else to die," Grizzle tearfully testified.

With the help of other officers, Grizzle personally took six victims to nearby ERs on four separate trips.

Some of the wounded were so bloodied, Grizzle said he couldn't recognize their race. On one trip, he had to yell at a man with a head wound to try and keep him alert.

"Don't f---ing die on me, don't f---ing die on me," Grizzle recalled for the court.

Many surviving victims or their family members in the courtroom wiped away tears. One woman shielded her face with a scarf. Another young lady collapsed into the arms of a man seated beside her.

Grizzle then described the horror of his police cruiser turned ambulance.

"There was so much blood, I could hear it sloshing in the back of my car," he said.

[Updated 12:30 p.m. EST/10:30 p.m CST]

The first police officer to encounter alleged gunman James Holmes after the shooting massacre initially thought he was a cop.

Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt said he thought the suspect was a member of law enforcement at the rear of the theater since he was wearing a military helmet and gas mask similar to what officers wear.

“When I first saw him, I thought he might be a police officer,” Oviatt said at a hearing for Holmes.

But Oviatt held Holmes at gunpoint because he wasn’t acting like a police officer. Holmes was just standing at his white car with his hands on the roof, not doing anything.

“The overall picture didn’t match of him being a police officer as I got closer,” Oviatt said.

After the Aurora officer handcuffed Holmes, he noticed a handgun on the roof of the car where his hands had been, he said. And as he grabbed Holmes by the arm to take him away, a magazine of ammunition fell to the ground, Oviatt said in the hearing.

When Oviatt asked Holmes how many weapons he had, Holmes responded: four.

Then Holmes volunteered that he had an improvised explosive device at his home. When asked if it would explode, Oviatt said, “The suspect replied, ‘If you trip them.’ ”

Oviatt said Holmes was compliant and answered all his questions. He described him as relaxed. “In his case he was very, very relaxed,” Oviatt said. “He seemed very detached from it all.”

Oviatt and fellow Aurora officer Aaron Blue identified Holmes as the man they arrested at the car.

Blue helped with the initial arrest, but then left to transport a victim who was shot in the head to the hospital.

Oviatt, upon cross-examination by the defense, said he told officers at headquarters that Holmes was staring off in the distance and was not with it. He said he was dripping with sweat and reeked of body odor.

About 40 members of the media and six front rows of survivors, victims’ families and friends listened intently to the morning proceedings.

[Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. MT]

The biggest hearing thus far in the People of the State of Colorado v. James Eagan Holmes gets underway here Monday morning.

Anyone officially connected to the case has been under a gag order since Holmes was arrested in the July 20 movie theater massacre. All police reports, search warrants and other key records were ordered sealed.

This week's preliminary hearing will be the first public glimpse at the evidence prosecutors have against the man charged in the killing of 12 people and the wounding of 70 in the attack.

The hearing could last a week, as prosecutors outline particulars of their 166 counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder. The district attorney has not publicly stated whether the death penalty will be sought.

Holmes' attorneys may call witnesses to help lay the groundwork for a possible insanity defense.

At the end, District Judge William Sylvester will decide whether there is ample evidence to move to trial.

Yahoo News will be at the hearing and will update this story during recesses throughout the day. No electronic devices or messaging is allowed from the courtroom.

The first police officer to encounter alleged gunman James Holmes after the shooting massacre at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater initially thought he was a cop.

Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt that he thought he was a member of law enforcement at the rear of the theater since the suspect was wearing a military helmet and gas mask similar to what they wear.

“When I first saw him I thought he might be a police officer,” Oviatt said at a hearing for Holmes.

But Oviatt held him at gunpoint because he wasn’t acting like a police officer. Holmes was just standing at his white car with his hands on the roof, not doing anything.

“The overall picture didn’t match of him being a police officer as I got closer,” Oviatt said.

After the Aurora police officer handcuffed Holmes he noticed a handgun on the roof of the car where his hands had been, he said. And, he grabbed him by the arm to take Holmes away, a magazine of ammunition fell to the ground, Oviatt said in the hearing.

When Oviatt asked Holmes how many weapons he had, Holmes responded: four.

Then Holmes volunteered that he and an improvised explosive device at his home. When asked by Oviatt if it would explode, Oviatt said, “The suspect replied, ‘If you trip them.’ ”

Oviatt said Holmes was compliant and answered all his questions. He described the alleged gunman as relaxed. “In his case he was very, very relaxed,” Oviatt said. “He seemed very detached from it all.”

Oviatt and fellow Aurora officer Aaron Blue identified Holmes was the man they arrested at the car.

Blue helped with the initial arrest but then left to transport a victim who was shot in the head to the hospital.

Oviatt, upon cross examination by the defense said he told officers at headquarters that Holmes was staring off in the distance and not with it. “He was dripping with sweat and he smelled badly,” Oviatt said of Holmes.

About 40 members of the media and six front rows of survivors, victims’ families and friends listened intently to the morning proceedings.