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Court hears frantic 911 calls from US cinema massacre

More than 40 emergency calls were made in a 10-minute period on that fateful day in July 2012.

This courtroom sketch shows Aurora Police Detective Matthew Ingui pointing to a large photograph of the inside of the Century 16 theatre.
This courtroom sketch shows Aurora Police Detective Matthew Ingui pointing to a large photograph of the inside of the Century 16 theatre.
Image: Bill Robles/AP/Press Association Images

FRANTIC 911 CALLS from the US movie theatre where 12 people were killed during a massacre last July were played in court today during the second day of hearings to decide if the alleged gunman should stand trial.

In the first of some 41 harrowing emergency calls made in a 10-minute period in Colorado, 30 loud booms could be heard in less than 30 seconds, making it difficult for the 911 dispatcher to hear what was being said.

In another, six minutes after the first call (logged at 12:38am), 14-year-old Kaylin Bailey told the emergency operator that her two cousins had been shot, and that one of them did not appear to be breathing.

“We need to start CPR on your cousin who’s not breathing,” said the operator.

“I can’t hear you,” responded Bailey, amid continuing chaos in the background in the theatre in Aurora, outside Denver.

The emotionally fraught preliminary hearings opened Monday with police describing harrowing scenes as they responded to the cinema, where 25-year-old James Holmes is accused of opening fire on 20 July 2012.

Chantel Blunk, left, leaves with a family member following a preliminary hearing for James Holmes. Blunk’s husband Jon was killed in the shooting. (Image: Ed Andrieski/AP/Press Association Images)

A number of officers choked back tears as they testified about the night, in which 12 people were killed and dozens more injured at the midnight screening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

The Aurora massacre revived the perennial US debate over gun control – an issue re-ignited even more intensely by last month’s shooting of 20 young children at a Connecticut elementary school.

Court hears of harrowing scenes at Aurora cinema shooting

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