CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Family members and victims of the Aurora theater shooting waited in a long line on a cold morning Monday, to hear testimony for the first about the crime.
A preliminary hearing began Monday in an Arapahoe County courtroom where the testimony was graphic, vivid and agonizing to hear.
Karen and Tom Teves flew in from out of state to hear how their son, Alex, was killed.
Jessica Watts hugged another victim. Her cousin, Jonathon Blunk, died in the shooting early on July 20 at the premiere showing of the new Batman movie.
Sam Soudani came with his daughter, 23-year-old Farrah, who was critically injured. “I just want to hold her hand,” he says.
Soudani says the testimony is heartbreaking, especially from police officers describing the horrific scene inside Theater 9 at the Century 16 movie complex.
“I was crying like everyone else and I’m gonna’ cry now. It’s really hard.”
James Holmes appeared in court Monday with a full beard and close-cropped hair.
He looked very different than when he first appeared in court after his arrest. He had orange-dyed hair at that time. But his demeanor remained the same; he showed no reaction to anything said in court.
“He has no emotion,” Soudani says. “It’s like a robot is the best I can explain it, it’s like a robot … absolutely no emotions.”
And what does Soudani think as he watches Holmes? “Trash, I mean honestly. When you see there is no more humanity anymore you don’t look at him as a person.”
He says hearing first-hand what it was like ins the theater when his daughter was shot is agonizing.
“Honestly, no, I don’t know if I will come tomorrow … just the agony sitting and watching them.”
The preliminary hearing could last all week. The judge in the case will decide if there is sufficient evidence for suspect James Holmes to stand trial.