Victims & families: Aurora theater shooting suspect carefully planned massacre
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Even victims like 17-year-old Yousef Gharvi were tempted to give the benefit of the doubt about Aurora Theater shooting suspect James Holmes’ mental stability. But he is now convinced that Holmes was completely sane when police say he opened fire inside the Aurora theater July 20.
“But after I saw the photos he just looked happy excited,” Gharvi says. “He’s not insane he was just doing it to make a statement.”
Prosecutors showed pictures Gharvi referred to in court during Holmes’ preliminary hearing Wednesday. Investigators recovered them from Holmes cell phone. The pictures were taken just hours before he’s accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.
One photo shows Holmes sticking his tongue out at the camera, with his eyes covered by black contacts and his dyed red hair sticking out of a skull cap.
Another one shows the suspect smiling and holding one of the handguns police say he used inside the theater.
“He’s not crazy, he’s evil,” says Tom Teves, whose son Alex died in the massacre. “This man went in and gunned down my son.”
Other pictures taken from Holmes cell phone show he cased the theater weeks before the attack, focusing on exit doors and door hinges.
One image shows Holmes’ car parked by a rear theater door propped open with plastic pieces police say he made.
Earlier testimony showed Holmes stockpiled weapons, explosives and other supplies starting months before the shooting.
“It was well thought out, it was deliberate, it was calculated,” says Caren Teves, Alex Teves’ mother.
Tom Teves says he caught Holmes smiling during the preliminary hearing. “I watched him smile every time a weapon was discussed. The people he could care less about.”
The Teves’ believe, just like in the photos, Holmes is smiling to himself as he tries to fake an insanity defense.
“We want to call him crazy because we want to make that feel better in our society. But we have to accept the fact that there’s evil people in our society that enjoy killing,” Tom Teves says.
The preliminary hearing ended Wednesday morning after prosecutors concluded their presentation and the defense called no witnesses.