Gunman told psychiatrist the Aurora movie theater shooting was a 'mission to complete'

Posted at 8:29 PM, May 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-01 10:24:40-04

"It's like I was obligated to do it," said the gunman who killed 12 people and injured 70 others in Aurora on July 20, 2012.

A court-ordered psychiatrist pressed for more information, inquiring why the shooter had felt obligated to buy four firearms and attack the crowded movie premiere.

"That there was no other alternative," came the deadpan response.

The shooter, James Holmes, is on trial for his life. He is accused of 165 counts and faces the death penalty, but he has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

As a result of that plea, Dr. William Reid was assigned to evaluate the defendant for several days at a state mental health hospital. Reid had the days-long evaluation video recorded, and prosecutors are now in the process of showing nearly all of that recording to the jury.

Reid has already said that he concluded the defendant was sane under Colorado law. These videos, and his testimony between segments, are not beginning to illustrate how he came to that conclusion.

During the video shown in court Friday, the defendant was asked if anger factored into the decision to kill -- what the gunman called his "mission."

He said anger was not a factor.

The mission, he said, came from "a depressed situation where I transfer my feelings from suicide to homicide."