Prosecutors: James Holmes Scouted Aurora Theater Before 'TDKR' Shooting

James Holmes

Even before shooting suspect James Holmes, 24, was charged with 142 counts, including first-degree murder, some victims and their family members had retained lawyers to prepare for suits.

Prosecutors produced photos they say Holmes took of the Cinemark theater before the shooting spree that killed 12 and injured 58 more.

James Holmes made meticulous preparations before engaging in a shooting rampage at a suburban Colorado movie theater last July, prosecutors said Wednesday.

In the final day of a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to indict Holmes on more than 160 degree counts of murder and attempted murder, prosecutors presented photos of the Cinemark theater in Aurora found on the former graduate student's cell phone. They said that meant Holmes visited the theater weeks before the July 12 shooting, which took place during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, to carefully map out and plan the shooting, which killed 12 and injured 58 more.

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Prosecutors also displayed photos of weapons they say Holmes planned to use, as well as evidence of the bombs he rigged in his apartment, which were set to blow upon entry. Holmes allegedly told police that he had rigged another explosive in a trash can near his apartment.

“He picked the perfect venue for this crime,” Karen Pearson, the lead prosecutor, said, according to The New York Times. “He didn’t care who he killed or how many he killed because he wanted to kill all of them, and he knew what he was doing."

The prosecutorial team described an apartment maximized for carnage, with carpets soaked in gasoline and jars of napalm scattered throughout the darkened rental. He had tripwire set to activate explosions, which would have killed police that barged in following his shooting massacre.

Holmes plans on pursuing a defense of insanity, his defense attorneys said. On Friday, a judge will rule whether he can be formally charged with the murders.