Aurora theater shooting – Chilling 911 call and autopsy pictures

This story is also published here on the CU News Corps website. The 911 call and other graphics can be seen there.

By Peri Duncan // CU News Corps // Published on May 21, 2015

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — On the night of July 19, 2012, Keven Quinonez went to the Aurora Century 16 theater with his girlfriend. Thursday in court, almost three years after James Holmes walked into theater 9 and started his murder spree, the prosecution shared a recording of the chilling 911 call Quinonez made during the shooting.

The call hardly lasted 20 seconds, but was highly disturbing. Most of what can be heard is gunshots, blood-curdling screams, and the dispatcher repeatedly asking for Quinonez’ location because she could not hear him over the sound of gunshots.

The prosecution seeks the death penalty for Holmes, who has confessed to the crime. The defense aims to convince the jury that he is not guilty by reason of insanity.

The defense objected to many of the shooter’s financial and school-related documents. He kept meticulous records of maintenance on his 2000 Hyundai and his time at CU. Receipts show he paid his bills on time. Prosecutor Rich Orman explained that these documents are important because they show he was sane enough to “know what financial records are, know their importance, and know to keep them.”

Medications taken from Holmes’ medicine cabinet included ibuprofen, loratadine (antihistamine), sertraline and clonazepam, according to a testimony from Aurora Police Detective Thomas Wilson. During cross-examination, Defense Attorney Katherine Spengler emphasized that both the sertraline and clonazepam were prescribed by Lynne Fenton, the board certified psychiatrist Holmes had seen while attending the University of Colorado Boulder.

Both medications treat anxiety problems. Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is used for anxiety attacks and panic disorders. Sertraline (brand name Zoloft) is used to treat depression and anxiety.

In the defendant’s kitchen, between the refrigerator and a trash can, investigators removed a piece of poster board. A circled infinity sign with the number one through it was drawn on the poster board; it was the same symbol found in Holmes’ calendar drawn on July 20, 2012, the date of the shooting.


Other witnesses called throughout the day included records custodians from Fandango, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Brownells, a firearms retailer.

Five victims also testified: Shirley Clark, Lauren Shuler, Holly Nicole Akers, Evan Lee Farris and his fiance Richelle Ann Hill. Lauren Shuler attended the movie with John Larimer, who died as a result of the shooting that night.

The final witness called today was Doctor Kelly Carol Lear-Kaul, the coroner who conducted autopsies on six of the 12 victims of the massacre. The first autopsy that she conducted was on 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the only child killed in the shooting. Lear-Kaul explained pictures of the X-rays of her 58-pound body followed by pictures of her wounds, including one showing her face after death.

The back row of the jury, all women, passed around Kleenex when they saw pictures of the little girl. Moser-Sullivan’s father sat in the courtroom today, staring straight ahead and listening intently.

Under the prosecution’s direction, Lear-Kaul used a mannequin to describe the trajectory of the bullets through the victims’ bodies.

Lear-Kaul conducted five autopsies following Moser-Sullivan: John Larimer, Jesse Childress, Jonathan Blunk, Alex Sullivan, and Micayla Medek. All six died of gunshot wounds.

There will be no court tomorrow or Monday; proceedings will resume Tuesday, May 26th.

Editor’s Note: CU News Corps will remember the victims of the tragedy with every post via this graphic.


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