Aurora shooter James Holmes helped police officers diffuse the collection of explosives he rigged his apartment with after he killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a Colorado movie theater on July 20, 2012.
According to Huffington Post, Lieutenant Thomas Wilkes testified in court yesterday that the explosives were so sophisticated that police were originally planning to let them go off and burn down the apartment building, a decision they thought was safer than attempting to diffuse them.
The bombs were discovered in Holmes Aurora apartment the day after he walked into a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” and went on a horrific killing spree. He was arrested in the theater’s parking lot shortly after.
Before they finalized their decision to blow up the building, police interviewed Holmes about the explosives and to their surprise, he gave them precise instructions on how to diffuse them.
“We knew that building would go. The idea was, can we defend the other buildings?” Wilkes told the court.
More than 30 homemade grenades, ten gallons of gasoline, improvised explosives and trip wires were found in the apartment.
One law enforcement official told CNN in 2012 that the grenades were wired to a control box in Holmes’ kitchen, a setup usually seen in Iraq or Afghanistan.
He said that if the explosives went off, the walls of most nearby apartments would have been knocked down.
Holme (25) is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder. Daily Mail reports that he had no visible reaction to the testimony during the day-long court hearing on Tuesday.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty while the defense pleads insanity, claiming that Holmes had no control over his own mental state when he walked into that theater.
The trial, which could last almost a year, is scheduled to begin in February.