Prosecutors played frantic 911 calls from inside the theatre as the massacre was taking place, creating a vivid picture of the terror and confusion within and capping testimony from a day earlier of the devastation police found when they arrived.
In the first of 41 calls made in a 10-minute period in Colorado, 30 loud booms could be heard in less than half-a-minute, making it difficult for the 911 dispatcher to distinguish what was being said.
In another, six minutes after the first call was logged at 12:38 am, 14-year-old Kaylan Bailey told the emergency operator that her two cousins had been shot, and that one of them did not appear to be breathing.
“We need to start CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) on your cousin who’s not breathing,” said the operator.
“I can’t hear you,” responded Bailey, as chaos unfolded in the theatre in Aurora, where Holmes -clad in body armour and a mask – threw at least one smoke-bomb type device before opening fire in the early hours of July 20.
The hearings opened Monday with officers fighting back tears as they recalled heartbreaking scenes after the slaughter, in which the youngest victim was just six years old.
A day later, prosecutors wrapped up their evidence in the hearing by listing all the victims by name, the injuries they suffered and the charges -more than 160 in all – filed on behalf of each.
The Aurora massacre revived the perennial US debate over gun control – an issue re-ignited even more intensely by last month’s shooting of 20 young children at a Connecticut elementary school.