Preliminary Hearing Continues in Colo. Movie Theater Massacre Case

(NECN/NBC News: Leanne Gregg, Centennial, Colo.) - The unfolding of mass murder continues Tuesday as prosecutors methodically outline their case against 24-year-old James Holmes.

On the first day of testimony, Aurora police officers fought to hold back tears as they described efforts to rush victims to the hospital, and the bloody scene inside the theater.

The sounds of people screaming, an alarm going off, and cell phones ringing  are difficult for family members of victims to hear.

"It's heartbreaking the entire testimony from the officers," says Sam Soudani, whose daughter survived the shooting.

One of the officers said at first he thought James Holmes was a SWAT patrolman because of how he was dressed.

Holmes, he said, was completely compliant during his arrest and told officers about bombs in his apartment.

Theater surveillance video showed Holmes arriving for the "Dark Knight Rises" premiere around midnight. Records show he bought his ticket to the movie online weeks before.

One psychiatrist says that could mean prior planning of the attack.

"You can be in a detached state of mind, a psychotic state of mind, a not clear thinking poor state of mind, either because of a mental health problem or something else, and be planning this stuff and be premeditated," says psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy.

There is no word from prosecutors about whether they will seek the death penalty if the case goes to trial.

"Not only is this not a 'whodunnit,' but it's very likely a mission, from the defense perspective, just to save their client's life," says legal expert Darren Kavinoky.

Life in prison, he says, would be a huge victory for the defense.

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