CENTENNIAL, CO - Three years ago, an orange-haired James Holmes burst into a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Armed to the teeth, Holmes shot and killed 12 people, and injured dozens more. Holmes has pleaded guilty by reason of insanity, which is defined as 'a derangement of the mind.'
Jurors are getting a look inside the mind of a killer, as videotaped conversations with his psychiatrist are played out in court.
"I just went to the very front and sat in one of the chairs and pulled out my cell phone to make it look like I had a phone call and went out the exit," said Holmes matter-of-factly.
Holmes says he left the theater to put on body armor.
"I put my music on in my wireless headphones."
He put on a gas mask, pumped up the tunes and tossed a tear gas canister into the audience.
"Then I raised the shotgun and saw people getting up so I shot in that direction."
He emptied the shotgun.
"Then I threw the gun down and switched to the AR-15."
Holmes says he mostly shot at random, and he can't remember feeling anything as he carried out what he calls, 'his mission.'
He says he considered getting help just moments before the attack, even calling a mental health hotline from the theater parking lot, but hung up after no one picked up. He also told his psychiatrist he knew it was legally wrong to kill people, but these were not 'real people' to him, only numbers.
"It's very difficult to listen to, hearing that your child is a number to him, to enhance his worth, and we're just collateral damage," said Sandy Phillips, mother of victim Jessica Ghawi, "that was hard to take."
Holmes claims he was suffering a 'psychotic episode' during the shootings, but the psychiatrist says he was legally sane at the time. It'll be up to jurors to decide if a 'sane' person would have committed such a heinous act.