Aurora theater shooting hearing, day two: Youngest victim's story, death of a military man
Editor's note: Melanie Asmar is covering day two of the preliminary hearing into the July 20 Aurora theater shooting allegedly committed by James Holmes. The latest update is immediately below, followed by previous coverage.
Update: The majority of the afternoon session was dominated by a listing of victims by name, injury and the corresponding charges against James Holmes.
Aurora Police Department Sergeant Matthew Fyles testified at length. He began by sharing APD statistics. He said 444 different officers had written reports in the theater shooting case and approximately 1,000 people worked on the case.
He also shared a chart featuring the names and experiences of each victim. He read through them one by one, a process that took in the range of two hours due to the large number of individuals killed (twelve) and injured (seventy), as well as the equally sizable roster of charges (166).
Many of those injured were struck by shotgun pellets, while others suffered unspecified chemical irritations, possibly from the teargas used in the theater. Among those with a chemical irritation wound was thirteen-year-old Kaylan Bailey, mentioned in previous testimony. Fyles noted when victims were so badly wounded that they required emergency surgery and/or suffered lasting injuries: permanent limps, nerve damage, loss of teeth, paralysis.
Patricia Legarreta and Jamie Rohrs with the youngest victim at the theater, four-month-old Ethan Rohrs.
The youngest victim was Ethan Rohrs, four months old. He was at the theater with his parents, Patricia Legarreta and Jamie Rohrs. Legarreta was holding Ethan when she was shot in the right calf -- a wound that caused her to drop the child, who sustained bumps and bruises as a result.
Reading this litany caused Fyles to grow emotional on the stand. He occasionally wiped his eyes with a tissue, and a number of victims attending the hearing were similarly impacted.
One vivid story told by Fyles involved one of the deceased victims, John Larimer. He was a member of the military in attendance with friends also in the service. His body was not found behind seats, as were most of those who lost their lives, but in an aisle leading toward an exit. Fyles testified that there was a break in the shooting, during which Larimer's friends tried to carry his body with them. But before they could get out of the auditorium, someone screamed, "He's coming back!" As a result, they were unable to get his body out.
As five p.m. neared, the prosecutor told the judge it would be a good time to break, adding that Fyles was the last witness. He had not been dismissed, so he's expected to continue his testimony tomorrow. But at this writing, it's not known if the conclusion of his remarks will also mark the end of the hearing.
Continue for previous posts about today's preliminary hearing.