* 13-year-old girl pleaded for assistance for two cousins
* Dispatcher sought to tell her how to administer CPR
* Guns and ammunition purchases began two months before
By Keith Coffman
CENTENNIAL, Colo., Jan 8 A 13-year-old girl
caught in last summer's shooting rampage at a Colorado movie
theater was heard frantically pleading for help for two gravely
wounded relatives in a tape of her emergency 911 call played in
court on Tuesday.
In it, the distraught girl could be heard telling an
emergency dispatcher that her 6-year-old cousin, Veronica
Moser-Sullivan, and Veronica's pregnant mother, Ashley Moser,
had been struck by gunfire. Veronica was the youngest of the 12
people killed in the attack.
"My two cousins have been shot," Kaylan Bailey cried, as the
dispatcher tried in vain to instruct her on how to perform
cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The girl is heard telling the
dispatcher, "It's too loud ... I can't hear you."
The recording was one of two emergency calls played in court
during the second day of a preliminary hearing for the accused
25-year-old gunman, James Holmes, in which prosecutors are
seeking to persuade a judge they have enough evidence to put him
The former University of Colorado neuroscience doctoral
student is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder
and attempted murder stemming from the July 20 rampage at a
midnight screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" in
the Denver suburb of Aurora.
In addition to the 12 people who died, 58 were wounded by
gunfire, and prosecutors have counted a dozen others who
suffered some other physical injury. Prosecutors have yet to
decide whether they would seek the death penalty.
Should the judge order the case to proceed to trial, legal
experts believe Holmes will plead not guilty by reason of
insanity. His lawyers have said he suffers from an unspecified
mental illness and are expected to call witnesses later this
week to testify about his state of mind.
During cross-examination on Tuesday, defense lawyers sought
to draw attention to Holmes' erratic behavior while in custody.
Homicide detective Craig Appel acknowledged that during an
initial interrogation at police headquarters, Holmes tried to
insert a staple he found on a desktop into an electrical outlet.
During that interview, in which Holmes had plastic bags
placed over his hands to preserve any traces of gunpowder
residue, Holmes gestured with one of the bags as if it were a
talking hand puppet, Appel testified.
Asked why blood samples were not taken of Holmes following
his arrest, Appel added, "I saw no indication that he was under
the influence of anything."
Holmes, now with a full beard, sat quiet and expressionless
at the defense table on Tuesday, shackled and dressed in red
prison garb, as he has at previous hearings.
Police have testified that Holmes, who bought his movie
ticket 12 days in advance, left the screening minutes after it
began and re-entered Theater 9 at the Century 16 multiplex a
short time later dressed in tactical body armor, a gas mask and
Armed with a semi-automatic rifle, shotgun and pistol,
police say, he then lobbed a tear gas canister into the
auditorium and sprayed the audience with bullets.
Later, in the parking lot, he surrendered without a struggle
to the first police officers arriving on the scene and alerted
them that his apartment had been booby-trapped with explosives.
Police have described encountering a nightmarish, bloody
scene inside the darkened theater, where dozens of victims lay
sprawled across the auditorium as the Batman film continued to
play and emergency-alarm strobe lights flashed.
One officer choked up with emotion on Monday as he recounted
hunching over the lifeless body of Veronica Moser-Sullivan
trying to find her pulse. Her mother survived but was left
paralyzed from the waist down and suffered a miscarriage.
The call from their cousin was made from inside the theater
moments after the massacre.
A second call played in court by police detective Randy
Hansen was placed during the shooting. In that tape, lasting 27
seconds, the distinct pop-pop-pop sound of 30 gunshots can be
heard, though no voices are discernible.
FBI agent Garrett Gumbinner, an explosives expert, recounted
on Tuesday that Holmes matter-of-factly described after the
shooting how he had elaborately rigged his apartment with trip
wires and homemade bombs.
Gumbinner said Holmes told authorities he had planned for
the bombs to go off as a diversion to draw emergency personnel
to his apartment while he carried out the theater attack a short
distance away. Authorities managed to disarm the explosives.
Another federal agent, Steven Beggs of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified that Holmes
began stocking up on guns, ammunition and other gear about two
months before the shooting.
The three weapons he carried into the theater, and a pistol
found in his car, as well as nearly 6,300 rounds of ammunition
and tactical body armor, were all legally purchased from gun
shops and online dealers, and he passed all required background
checks, Beggs said.
Testimony on Tuesday from police detective Thomas Welton
also confirmed earlier media reports that Holmes had posted
profiles on two online dating sites weeks before the shooting,
both with a headline that read: "Will you visit me in prison?"
The postings, which prosecutors say are evidence of criminal
deliberation, were accompanied by a photo of Holmes sporting the
bright, red-dyed hair he had when he was arrested.