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'Gut feeling' stopped neighbor from opening door to James Holmes' booby-trapped apartment

Posted at 12:50 PM, May 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-14 07:57:20-04

A "gut feeling" may have saved the woman who lived right below James Holmes, who had booby-trapped his apartment to explode, according to testimony presented Friday morning during the theater shooting trial.

Holmes' neighbor Kaitlyn Fonzi said she went to bed around 11 p.m. on July 19, 2012.

"Around midnight we were awoken by very loud music. The apartment was shaking," Fonzi testified Friday.

The gunman admitted he had recorded about 40 minutes of silence and then loud music to draw someone to the apartment, according to a transcript of an FBI interview.

"I had made a CD, uh, 40 minutes of silence so I had the boom box playing before I left that (inaudible) and then the songs would come on afterwards," Holmes is quoted as saying in the transcript.

The lure worked, and Fonzi went to find the source of the loud music.

"When I went up the stairs I noticed it getting louder and then I noticed it was coming from apartment No. 10," Fonzi said.

"I knocked on the door and I told them to shut off the music, but I didn't hear anyone in the apartment," Fonzi testified.

"I thought about opening the door, I had my hand on the doorknob, but it seemed like it was unlocked. And so in my better sense I decided to go downstairs and call the police," said Fonzi.

"It just seemed really off. I had a bad, gut feeling that I didn't want to see what was ever behind that door," she said.

Aurora Police Department Officer Aaron Blue testified that after he took the shooter into custody behind the theater, the gunman said, "I have improvised explosive devices at my house and they won't go off unless you set them off."

The gunman is on trial for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the July 20, 2012 shooting. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

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