CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Was Shooting Suspect Putting on an Act in Court?

Aired July 23, 2012 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn`t want my family sitting up there looking at that game after game after game. That was where I was coming from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coach, thank you so much. We appreciate your time.

Folks, Jane Velez-Mitchell starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, who is this 24-year-old man suspected in one of the worst massacres in our nation`s history? We are analyzing James Holmes` very first appearance in court today, where his odd behavior and shock of orange hair has sparked a national debate. Was it all some kind of big act?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, shock and revulsion as the man accused of one of the worst massacres in U.S. history shows up in court with wild orange hair after arresting cops say he claimed he was The Joker. The 24-year-old is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in the Batman movie theater shooting spree.

But today in court James Holmes made a series of bizarre facial expressions that had the nation aghast. Why did Holmes look like he could barely keep his eyes open? Is he mad, medicated, or just putting on a big act in the hopes of being ruled mentally incompetent? I`ll talk to a man who had drinks with the accused killer just days before the shooting, and I`m taking your calls for the hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably lasted for about a minute or two. That`s how, probably -- realistically, that`s how long it lasted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Theater is secure. We`re bringing out bodies now. Get someone to the back as soon as you can. Rescue personnel, I`ve got like three to seven hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have the right to remain silent. Any statements can be used against you.

Probable cause to believe you committed the offense of first-degree murder, which is a class one felony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This evil, this death, it had no bounds. It had no shame. It did not care about age. It did not care about sex. It didn`t care about anything. Little girls were shot. Little boys were shot. Everybody -- people was shot. Teenagers were shot. People that were still in high school, they were shot. He did not care. Death did not care at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say Holmes spent months planning out his alleged rampage, gathering his arsenal, executing his plan, and pulling the trigger with, quote, "calculation and deliberation."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just ran out. I didn`t turn around. I didn`t look behind me. I just got out. And there was a moment where my daughter tripped, and I just pulled her up, and I was just dragging her. And I was just thinking we`ve got to get out.

DARIUS HARVEY, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I tried to help my friends get out. I saw multiple of my friends and people that I didn`t know get shot.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

A chilling first glimpse of a suspected mad man. Our jaws dropped as we watched the suspect in Friday`s Colorado theater movie massacre appear for the very first time in court.

James Holmes, 24, the man who told police he was The Joker, had wild red and orange hair. At times he was bug-eyed; at times barely able to keep his eyes open. Was the 24-year-old former doctoral candidate medicated?

The sheriff told us he doesn`t know and couldn`t tell us if he did. Is this man insane, or was it all an act? Is the strange behavior we saw today part of an elaborate master plan by Holmes to avoid prosecution?

Many people are asking whether his bizarre behavior in court was an effort to look incompetent so he didn`t have to stand trial, so he`d go to some mental institution instead? Our experts will weigh in.

Now, take a look at this. Our country still reeling from the horror of early Friday morning: 12 people dead, 58 others wounded as they watched "The Dark Knight Rises" at a Colorado theater outside Denver.

Now, I want you to take a look at an animation of what police say happened. And this is -- it`s chilling. Holmes bought a movie ticket. He snuck out an emergency door, that he propped open. And then he came back in and threw -- there he is. According to this animation.

After leaving that door, he puts his gear on, and then he comes back in and throws a tear-gas-like substance and starts shooting. So this gives you a sense of where this happened in the movie theater.

Police say he was, quote, "head to toe" in ballistic gear, all black, complete with a gas mask. Holmes looked nothing like that today as he came face-to-face with some of the survivors. Others recovering at the hospital still visibly shaken from the nightmare of that night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After I got hit, I fell to the ground. I was just waiting for the shooting to stop. And I was thinking, this is not actually happening. It was -- it was hard to believe it even when it was happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to tell you some of the harrowing stories. Stories of courage, as well.

Police think Holmes spent months planning this attack and amassed an arsenal of weapons and ammo. Listen to this from a man whose sister was killed in the theater.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JORDAN GHAWI, BROTHER OF VICTIM: This guy is nothing. He`s a coward and a genius. He knows what he`s doing. He`s playing the system. I don`t believe for a second that he`s sitting there, his wide eyes and pretending to be incoherent. He knows what he`s doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you believe? Was it an act, or is he insane? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. I want to hear from you. We`re doing this for the hour: 1-877-586-7297.

All right. Jon Lieberman, HLN contributor, you covered so many of these cases. Is he insane, or was this a big act in court?

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, calling this an act is a disservice to the victim. If you call this an act, because this sure as heck is real for the victims and their families to have to sit in the courtroom and look at this guy.

I don`t know if he`s insane or if this is an act. But I do know this. This is a well-educated guy, and prosecutors are right now building a premeditated first-degree murder case against him. They want to show that this was meticulously planned out, and this guy now has capital defense attorneys. Public defenders who specialize in death penalty cases.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist. An act or insane? Because I got to tell you, I was watching in court, and I want to show him in court again today. And my gut told me that all the rolling of the eyes and the pouty looks and the closing of the eyes and all of that, to me, my gut, and I could be wrong, but it told me it was an act. It was an attempt now, as part of the charade, to take it to the next level to avoid prosecution, to avoid a trial, to end up in some mental institution, which is what happens when you`re ruled incompetent to stand trial.

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: No, I don`t think an act, Jane. I think he`s psychotic.

And remember, that in order to get an insanity plea, that`s the severest type of psychosis. But what you`re seeing when he reacts with those different eye movements and opening and closing and all, he`s reacting to his inner reality. Not to what`s going on in the courtroom. He`s delusional. He`s having hallucinations, and that`s why you`re getting that reaction.

I`ll also throw in, he was not medicated. It`s very difficult to get a psychiatric medication in prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, an act or insane? I`m saying an act. Dr. Dale Archer says he`s psychotic.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, we`ve got to focus on the issue. Let`s just say it`s an act. Let`s say they gave him medication. That`s not the issue. Let`s understand what happened.

If, in fact, he can`t assist his attorneys right now to proceed, they`ll dope him up on psychotropic drugs until he`s able to assist his attorneys.

The more important issue is, was he insane at the time? And the defense then would have to show that he has a mental defect of a disease, and that because of that defect or disease, he did not know right from wrong at the time. And Jane, with what we know now, there`s a wealth of information that clearly illustrates that he knew right from wrong at the time. Even if he was suffering from some mental defect or disease.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Carol, Indiana, your question or thought. Carol, Indiana. We want to hear from you at home. What do you think? Insane or an act -- Carol?

CALLER: It`s an act, and he`s good at it. He`s a professional at it. And it wasn`t a disservice to call him a nut, or it was an act. It was a disservice to the victims for allowing somebody to buy assault weapons and assault gear.

And Mark, I have a question for you, if I may ask it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead.

EIGLARSH: Go ahead.

CALLER: OK, Mark, and this is -- don`t take this the wrong way, but if the judge tells you to be quiet in court, what do you do?

EIGLARSH: What do I do?

CALLER: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what`s the point, Carol? I just want to get your point. Because...

CALLER: OK. When the policeman told Zimmerman to stay in the car, that`s what he should have done. Have a good day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, thank you, Carol. And people are passionate about a lot of the stories we`ve covered. We`ve covered George Zimmerman. This is certainly the biggest story since that case and could be the biggest story of the year.

We all watched James Holmes` bizarre court appearance. Some say he looked like he was out of it and making very bizarre facial expressions. And a debate immediately arose over whether he was medicated, he was on some kind of medication, sedative, or not. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s possible but highly unlikely. They would be very, very leery of administering any sort of drug that might affect his ability to understand the charges against him. I`m betting his appearance was not drug induced in any way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Robin. It`s pretty easy to sort of interpret this as defiance because we`re all so outraged by what went down. But I say he`s very medicated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, could Holmes be trying to act crazy, because he wants to be declared mentally incompetent and thereby avoid a death-penalty trial and end up in some mental institution?

Now here`s the key. We called the sheriff today. The sheriff`s department would not tell us if Holmes was medicated. But they did say they do a medical screening for every incoming inmate and determine if they have a condition and need to be medicated after talking with their doctor. The implication is, if an inmate has a preexisting medical condition that requires medication, they will get it. So that raises the question.

Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist. Do you think he was on anti- depressants at the time of the shooting? Because the impression we got is they`re not going to give him new meds unless he`s completely out of control. They`re going to give him meds that he may have been taken before he goes into jail.

ARCHER: Well, that holds for virtually all medication. But with psychiatric medications there`s a higher bar.

So first of all, he would have to be taking them before he went in. Then they would have to contact the doctor and the psychiatrist would say, "Yes, he`s on them, and I think he needs to stay on them. Then the prison psychiatrist would get involved and have to approve them. And all of that would have to be done in the last two days. That`s highly unlikely.

Usually when you get a case like this, you want to get some background on the inmate and see how are they acting? Are they depressed? Are they anxious? Are they psychotic? And do they really need these meds?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My question is, could he have been medicated at the time of the shooting? This raises -- you`re saying, or people have been saying it looks like he`s medicated or he`s acting. Different experts are disagreeing.

ARCHER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But if he is medicated now, doesn`t raise the issue of couldn`t he have been on some kind of meds at the time of the shooting?

ARCHER: He could have been on meds at the time of the shooting, Jane. But OK, remember, this is almost 72 hours afterwards. So any medication he was taking then would have been long gone. And I`m going to say fairly emphatically that I would be shocked if they had already started him on psychiatric meds in the prison, even if he was taking those before. I think that`s something that you would take your time, really assess before you would immediately slam it back on those meds. And so that would beg the question that he`s not medicated now.

So we really have no evidence or no proof whatsoever that he would have been medicated at the time that he did the shooting.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have multiple people shot. A white Kia!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. There`s another victim in a white Kia. Where is that vehicle at?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need an emergency corps (ph) behind the theater. The suspect`s in a gas mask. Hold here one second. The car is that white car in the rear of the lot. Is that the suspect?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We`ve got rifles, gas masks. Got an open door going into the theater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, hold that position. Hold your suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got seven down in theater nine! Seven down!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s get everybody on this. An assault rifle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is some of the dispatch chatter. Heroic officers arrived quickly at the scene. That was the suspect`s car.

And tonight we`re learning more about the bizarre behavior from the suspect, James Holmes. Eerie warning signs before the attack that a gun- range owner picked up on. Listen to this from FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I called him, he didn`t give me -- he didn`t answer. I ended up with his answering service, that had a rather bizarre message on it. That started me wondering a little bit about it. And you know, I called him a second time, later, and it was the same message that was there, which starts making you wonder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And we`re going to show you reenactments, animation of the shooting that HLN created.

Want to go to CNN correspondent Drew Griffin live on the ground in Aurora, Colorado. Your team has been digging and spoke to this gun-range owner off camera. What have you learned about Holmes` behavior prior to the massacre?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that he went to this gun range, and let me show you it. It is in Byers (ph), Colorado. That`s a fairly rural -- about a 30-minute drive from where Holmes was living. A private gun club.

He registered to join the membership there online. That was on June 25, Jane. And that`s what prompted the owner, Glenn Rodkovich, to call him, basically to make a sale, to get him out there. But he got was this - - as he described as a weird answering machine. He really says that he couldn`t even determine what the words were. Keeping in mind he`s recalling this a couple of weeks after the fact.

But this is how he described it to us. That message on James Holmes` machines, guttural, freakish, maybe drunk, a deep guttural forced voice. It was odd enough that this gun-range owner told his staff that this guy, James Holmes, if he ever shows up does not get any access to this club, this range, to anything until he, the owner, met him face-to-face and could determine, in his words, if he was an idiot or what was going on because that message machine was so bizarre -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much, Drew Griffin. And what`s so fascinating about that is the word drunk, and weird and bizarre. So we`re trying to understand this man. Was he on meds? Was he drinking? Was it both? Is he insane or is he highly calculating?

So many gut-wrenching stories meantime, for the massacre. A woman who survived the attack is having a baby as we speak. She`s in labor, tragically under very horrible circumstances. Her husband was shot in the eye during the attack and is in critical condition.

I want to go to Michael West, a dear friend of this couple. I understand you`re there at the hospital. My heart goes out to you and this -- this beautiful couple to have this happen to them at the most -- most precious time of their lives. Tell us what is happening with your friend Caleb.

MICHAEL WEST, FRIEND OF VICTIMS (via phone): Caleb is in the ICU right now. And he`s still in critical condition, but he has stabilized.

Katie is in the same hospital. She`s up on Labor and Delivery. She is having contractions right now, and she just got the epidural. But she`s still not going to be having the baby here in the next couple hours or so, so she`s probably going to have it in the middle of the night some time.

And Caleb, he`s currently in surgery. They took him back to surgery, and we haven`t heard anything new about him the last four or five hours. So we`re looking forward to him getting out of there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand, Michael, that he was shot in the eye. Tell us about it. It`s so upsetting.

CALLER: Yes. He was -- he was shot with part of the shotgun. Some of the pellets went through his right eye. And, yes, he -- he`s doing better than when he got here. That`s for sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you been able to speak to Katie Medley? I mean, here she is giving birth, in the process of, and the man she loves, the father of her child, is shot in the eye and undergoing surgery. And you said he`s still in critical condition, I understand. I mean, what a -- what a horror.

WEST: She`s -- she`s -- for the situation, she`s in pretty good spirits, because she has a lot of friends and family here. And this Web site that I made is getting a lot of hits. And there`s just people from all over the country that are showing they`re sport and love for Katie. Everybody is, like, donating money. People wanting to send baby supplies. And it`s turning out good so far. And we`re hoping for the best. That`s all we can do right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to know the Web site name, so if people want to contribute, they knew where to go. Tell us.

WEST: The Web site is CalebMedley -- C-A-L-E-B-M-E-D-L-E-Y -- dot com slash help. And from that Web -- from that site, it has his story and a personal story that I wrote about him at the bottom. And there`s a button there where you can go straight to the donation page.

Right now we`ve raised over $24,000, and we`ve had over 800 donors. So our goal is $500,000. It`s a really steep goal. But like I said, Caleb doesn`t have any insurance, and he really needs our support. And the surgeon told us that he is going to be in the...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It hurts pretty bad in my gums. My bottom gums got pushed back by the bullet, and one tooth was knocked out, and luckily, I caught it in my hand. And then the tooth next to the bottom front just got moved around, and that`s mostly my pain that I have, just because it`s been so much pressure pushed on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the bullet entered right in your chin. Where did the bullet end up?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s currently still on this side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the courageous, courageous survivors.

We`ve been showing you video of the suspect in court today. And a very bizarre, bizarre look. We`re going to show you the suspect with a shock of red hair.

But now we`re going to show you James Holmes speaking at a science camp in 2005. Check out this footage. Watch it. It`s the suspect from ABC News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES HOLMES, SHOOTING SUSPECT: Hello, I`m James. I`ve been working with a temporal illusion. It`s an illusion that allows you to change the past.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His goals are to become a researcher and to make scientific discoveries. A good start.

HOLMES: Gamers Night (ph), people feel like they have a super power. And I`m like, let them have more fun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There he is, and there he is today with the shock of red hair, and the bizarre behavior.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, thank you so much for joining us. And I know your show is coming up at 9 p.m. Eastern with some very interesting information. We`ve been debating. An act, or is he insane, or is he medicated? What do you say?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: Well, it`s definitely not an act. I mean, that`s sort of silly to think about it as an act.

The fact is what you`re seeing there in the picture alongside me is someone who, in my opinion, is medicated.

I`ll tell you, the one thing I`ve noticed with my patients that have - - give me that sort of lid pulling, trying to open their eyes. That`s medication what you see there. You see with those lids dragging. A somnular person who`s sleep deprived will typically sort of nod out and then be awake. They won`t be dragging their eyelids open like that. That is medication.

So if I`m right and that is medication, what you can speculate is when he got to jail he must have been wild, with a need to put him on so much medication to keep him sedated like this.

Now is he -- I think you asked is he insane or crazy? I think that, fairly, is certainly to be the case. But it`s not as though someone with mental illness is going to become a murderer. So I want people to be very careful not to stigmatize mental illness, because in this particular case that`s what happened.

The fact is, he may not be insane from the standpoint of the law because, in he meditated -- in a premeditated fashion, in a very controlled, thoughtful, organized way, planned this thing for months. And the only way he could be insane from the standpoint of the law would be is if he didn`t know the difference between right and wrong for all those months, which is going to be essentially -- an argument that`s impossible to make.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think he may have been on meds. And I don`t have any information about this. But because you say he seemed medicated in court, my question is could he have been on meds at the time of the shooting? Ten seconds.

PINSKY: Well, there`s some evidence of maybe some opiates. But I worry about hallucinogens, but I don`t think that`s the primary issue here.

And by the way, his pupils are now mid-position, which suggests he`s not in withdrawal, so I don`t think we`re seeing an addiction story here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hmm, fascinating. Well, tonight, Dr. Drew, I know you`re going to spend a few -- a full hour talking to callers about how the survivors of the shooting can recover and how we`re handling it as a nation. I hope it`s a time for national reflection. That`s 9 p.m. Eastern here on HLN.

PINSKY: You bet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for joining us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERCE O`FARRELL, SHOOTING VICTIM: He was standing literally directly above me. I could feel his boot right next to my head. I just held my face down on the ground and I just stayed as still as I possibly could. And I prayed and I prayed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold that position. Hold your suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got seven down in Theater Nine. Seven down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This man is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy is nothing. He`s a coward and a genius. He knows what he`s doing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he went straight in the air and came down with his gun in my face. He was about three feet away from me at that point. At that instant, I honestly didn`t know what to do. I was terrified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She got shot when she got shot. She`s gone. I saw her right there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re looking at the man police say killed 12 people, wounded 58 others in one of the worst mass shootings in our nation`s history. He was in court today -- very bizarre behavior.

Meantime once police secured the movie theater Friday, they turned to suspect James Holmes` apartment which cops say was intricately booby- trapped -- trip wires, explosives, chemical devices. The bomb squad spent the last couple of days trying to secure the building.

Police say Holmes had also set up a timer to play very loud techno music in his apartment as he carried out the shooting spree. As for the booby-trap the chief says he`s never seen anything like it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF DAN OATES, AURORO, COLORADO POLICE: Make no mistake, ok. This apartment was designed, I say -- based on everything I`ve seen -- to kill whoever entered it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Authorities detonated some of the explosives in the apartment in a remote field.

I want to go straight out to CNN correspondent Kyung Lah -- you`ve been all over the story all weekend. What is the very latest?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what I can tell you is that we have spoken to people who had not seen this man since they were inside the theater. Since this man was dressed in that dark gear, aiming weapons as them.

And so I sat with a young man as the suspect was brought into court. You`ve been talking about his appearance, his hair, the odd behavior, the expressions on his face. But what this young man says he cannot forget is that he thinks this isn`t all an act. Here`s what he told us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORBIN DATES, SURVIVED SHOOTING: He has no right to come into court looking like he has a sad face. It`s not right. The look that he has right now is not something that`s going to be believable by anyone. He had this thought out very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: So the people who are inside that theater believe this is really a calculated dance, which is yet to be proven, Jane. But at this point they are hoping that the full force of U.S. justice is going to fall on this suspect -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to tell you, Kyung. The experts are saying he`s psychotic. He`s delusional. This isn`t an act. That`s silly to say that.

The people are saying, it`s an act. What is the general response you`re getting because you`re on the ground there talking to people, not experts? The experts say it`s not an act. He`s either medicated and/or insane -- maybe not legally but definitely mentally ill.

What are people on the ground telling you?

LAH: Yes. How would you feel if you were staring at the opposite end of a shotgun? Because that`s what they were saying experiencing. So what the people we have spoken to today, especially that young man you heard, they want to see justice move forward.

At least this particular young man really does believes that this is all for show. He did not appreciate the expressions on his face. He doesn`t believe that it`s any sort of mental deficiency. He does believe that this is a calculated act because he was inside the theater. He saw how he was behaving when he had a weapon in his arms and so that`s why he`s coming to this belief -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to say there`s a huge rift between what people on the ground, people who have seen this person up close are saying and what the experts are saying, Jon Leiberman.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: We all want answers. We all want to know what the motive is. But the reality sometimes is you don`t get quick answers. And I mean the victims want answers obviously because it`s hard to accept that a crazed madman can go into a movie theater in one of our cities and kill a dozen people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One man is talking about how he played dead as the suspected gunman stood right over him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`FARRELL: He was standing literally directly above me. I could feel his boot right next to my head. I just held my face down on the ground. I just stayed as still as I possibly could and I prayed and I prayed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pierce O`Farrell was a minister from Denver. He was shot twice; thankfully he recovered.

I want to go to Darrel Wilmoth (ph), who was a witness to this carnage. Thank you for your patience, pastor. We`ve had a lot of breaking news on the story. You`re with the Front Range Cavalry out of Denver. You were in the adjoining theater. You were watching "The Dark Knight Rises" when what happened?

DARREL WILMOTH, WITNESS: Well, we were sitting there, and we heard some popping noises over to my right. And I looked to my right and I saw smoke, and I kept hearing the pops. And into the middle of it I got hit in the leg with something. I didn`t know what it was at first. Now we know that bullets and shrapnel and debris were coming through wall.

And you know, I got hit hard enough to take notice and -- that I felt it and I looked over at the guy next to me and I said I just got hit with something. And he goes, I got hit in the arm and the guy over here goes, yes, I got hit in the hand and just trying to figure out what it was because we couldn`t see what was going on.

And so that`s how it kind started for us and I thought from the smoke and I saw some people get up and run. I thought, well, maybe some people had fireworks in there and they kind of let them off as a little prank and they were running out. That`s how it started for us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when you got outside and there`s people screaming outside the theater and you, thankfully, were not seriously hurt, although you were hit. What was the scene out there? Because a lot of people were talking tonight about survivor`s guilt -- have you experienced it?

WILMOTH: I did. And have and still am. I was in the military and you know, obviously you get some training in that. As you hear the stories and how would you react? But that`s not where God had me. I can`t live in that. I have to resist that and meditate on good and pure things because I can`t change where I was.

But I can, you know, understand where I was for a reason and how I helped out and looked at the things that I was able to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you did help out.

WILMOTH: Yes. Right when we got out there`s the immediacy of the need and of helping people that were hurt. We saw a young woman who was 22 on the ground, and me and another guy got her up to the ambulance. We were kind of coordinating some ambulances and getting up to the people. Other people were carrying folks up to the one ambulance.

The ambulances were further away from us in adjacent parking lots so we were trying to do our best. Everybody was trying to do our best to get the people to the ambulances.

But after we were able to do that and after we were able to take care of the immediacy of the physical, you know, as a pastor, my next, you know, next thing was to take care of the spiritual because, you know, while 70 plus were hurt and injured from this physically, there`s far more that are injured spiritually and their hearts were bleeding. They were calling out and needed a hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ. That`s where we have our hope and our peace in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up next, we`re going to talk to a man who says he had a drink with this suspect a couple of days before the shooting. We`re going to ask him, did he look like this? Did he have orange hair? What were they talking about? How many drinks did he have?

We`re going to answer all those questions right on the other side of this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER, COLORADO: Jon Blunk, we`ll remember. A.J. Boik --

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Jesse Childress --

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Cowden.

CROWD: We will remember.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The victims of this horror. The list goes on and on. And take a look at the suspect in court today. A man says he had a couple of beers with the murder suspect just a few days before the shooting.

We`re going to show you the suspect on the other side of the break. He`s here to talk with us tonight. But first, here`s what he said about that man, suspect James Holmes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKIE MITCHELL, JAMES HOLMES NEIGHBOR: You couldn`t see this coming. No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was he like?

MITCHELL: If you looked at the -- the mug shot on TV, the same guy you see on the TV is like the same guy looking at you. I mean just an intelligent looking guy. So I mean, I don`t -- you don`t know what a killer looks like. It didn`t look like him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jackie Mitchell, thank you for joining us. You say you had a drink with James Holmes a couple days before the attack. Did he have the orange hair?

MITCHELL: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He did not have the orange hair? What color was his hair?

MITCHELL: Just brownish black.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you have a few drinks? What did you talk to him about? What was he drinking?

MITCHELL: We just had a couple beers. I don`t know if he -- he was sitting, you know. He was in the circle but not talkative.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did he talk about anything?

MITCHELL: No. Sports.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m having a hard time --

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL: He said the Broncos might make the playoffs or they might not make playoffs -- something to that effect.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. So Jackie Mitchell -- Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney -- Jackie Mitchell, if you can standby. He`s saying that he had a couple beers with him a few days before, just on Tuesday, I believe, and he`s talking about sports. Seems like a normal guy. How do you go from that to being one of the worst, allegedly mass murderers in recent memory?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the doctors are going to sort out what, if anything, he was suffering from. But I need the audience to understand one point. He`s either going to spend the rest of his life in prison, or if they seek the death penalty and the jury deems that to be appropriate, he will die by lethal injection.

The insanity defense is not going to work. It rarely does. And in this case the prosecutors are going to point out the fact that he wore armor. That once the shotgun failed to distribute any more bullets he then moved to the assault rifle. And he knew that once that jammed he needed to move onto the Glock.

These are all indicators that he knew right from wrong when he was committing this horrific act. Coupled with the booby-trap and everything else we`re hearing about, he is not walking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, also the premeditation and the fact that he pretended like he was a regular customer, goes into the movie theater and slips out an exit door and then comes back head to toe with body armor. To me, Ray Lopez, former FBI agent, right there that says he was aware that something he was doing was wrong. Otherwise he would have just tried to come in if he was completely insane and didn`t know right from wrong, which the legal definition of insanity. He would have come in dressed in dressed in body armor from the get-go, Ray.

RAYMOND LOPEZ, FORMER FBI AGENT: Absolutely. I think this was -- good evening -- but he obviously had this planned out. There was a lot of planning to this. And it`s hard to, I think, to mount a defense of insanity with so many variables. I mean purchasing the weapons, using his driver`s license, buying ammunition online. The chemicals that he used for -- not only the explosives but the gas -- to actually think this whole thing through. And using that gas almost as a diversion, if you will, when he went in there to almost get the people running in the direction where he wanted to shoot, which is basically in the back, from your illustration.

So this was kind of planned out. There was some thought given to this. He had time to plan this out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll have more on the movie massacre right after the break. But tonight on Nancy Grace, a 24-year-old nursing student found beaten to death, set on fire and dumped in a grassy are off the side of the road. Investigators discover her car abandoned miles away from where her body was found. Who killed her?

Join Nancy at 8:00 Eastern for the very latest.

And we will have more on the Colorado massacre in a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID JACKSON, STEPFATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: It`s not surprising to me that his first thought would be her. That`s what a man does, he protects his loved ones. I`m very proud of him. We`re going to miss him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, so sad, that`s the father of one of the heroes, Matt McQuinn, he died after literally diving in front of his girlfriend and her older brother. And he saved them. His girlfriend was shot but she is expected to recover. Her brother was not hurt. Matt McQuinn a hero, 27 years old, tragically no longer with us.

Dale Archer, psychiatrist, is survivor`s guilt a real phenomenon? Are these many people who got out alive going to feel it? Or are they already?

DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Survivor`s guilt is very real, Jane. It all revolves around the fact that you blame yourself for somehow not doing enough, for not noticing the situation, for not being able to help more people. You blame, blame, blame yourself for something you have no control over. But it`s real and, of course, the earlier you get involved with therapy if you`re experience these symptoms, the better off you`re going to be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, they`re also going to now have to become possibly witness. Their nightmare is just beginning.

EIGLARSH: Yes. There`s no question that they will serve a very valuable function in the prosecutor`s case to prove that everything was done methodically. That he knew right from wrong. He wasn`t in there clucking like a chicken without a plan. He specifically took out each weapon, one after the next, in order to achieve his goal which was massive slaughter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER SEEGER, SHOOTING WITNESS: He was shooting little kids, you know. It`s 6-year-old kids, 3-year-old kids and moms, you know. I`m 22 years old and I didn`t get shot and I was like, you know, why didn`t he take me? You know, instead of that 3-year-old or that 6-year-old, you know what I mean? Like why didn`t he take me?

CHRIS RAMOS, SURVIVED SHOOTING: The image in our heads is stuck in there and I still have the ticket right here. The ticket right here. And honestly, I`m never going to forget this night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Chris Ramos. His family says now he`s overwhelmed and he can`t talk anymore.

Ray Lopez, former FBI, how does law enforcement talk to these people without re-victimizing them all over again?

LOPEZ: Jane, I think the most important thing is to empower these victims and the survivors by law enforcement carrying on, irregardless, as you mentioned earlier on your show, whether this man -- this monster is sane or insane. Somebody else is going to make that determination. I think law enforcement from the prosecutors to the judge to all these investigators and forensic people will have to move forward to help these people by empowering them, by giving them justice. And that measure of justice comes in court. They`re going to do the best job they can.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman -- thank you Ray Lopez. Thank you for my fantastic panel joining us. Your incredible insights.

Our hearts go out to families involved, this is a nightmare, but we pray that those who are recuperating survive and are well.

END