Town Mourns as Massacre Suspect Appears in Court

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Three days after the deadly Colorado theater massacre, many Aurora residents are filled with grief as they mourn the lives lost, but also hopeful that peace and justice will come.

"One day, Lord, we know that our city will march back into that theater, and we'll claim that theater back, father God, 'cause it doesn't belong to terrorists, it belongs to the city of Aurora," local pastor Robin Holland said.

Shooting suspect James Holmes, 24, showed almost no emotion when he appeared in court Monday, sporting reddish orange hair. Some speculated he died it to match the Batman character "The Joker."

It was his first time in public since Friday's deadly rampage that claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 58 others.

The ammunition used in the ordeal was purchased online, all of which authorities say was legally bought. There's currently no way of regulating or tracking whether a person is making an unusually large purchase of weapons online.

Holmes gave a blank stare as the judge explained what he's being held for. Formal charges are expected to come in the case next Monday.

The district attorney is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes.

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama met with survivors and offered support to the families of those he didn't.

"You know, scripture says that, 'He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning. For the former things have passed away,'" Obama said.

Darrel Wilmoth, pastor of Frontpage Calvary Church in Denver, was in an adjacent theater when the shooting spree began. He gave his account of Friday's tragedy on "The 700 Club," July 23. Watch his comments below.

"And when you have an opportunity to visit with families who have lost their loved ones, I come to them not so much as a president but as a father and a husband," he continued.

Meanwhile in California, members of the Holmes family's church are trying to understand what happened. They say the young man they knew had goals and plans for his life.

He's been described as a high achiever who loved science.

"I assume something must have snapped, but I don't know that," Jerry Borgie, senior pastor of Penasquitos Lutheran Church, said. "This is just so absurd and so out of character from my understanding of this young man and the way he lived his life."

There are still no answers to why this happened. How did 24-year-old Holmes go from an articulate Ph.D. student to a mass murderer, methodically taking down his innocent victims?

"He didn't snap," Aurora Police psychologist John Nicoletti said. "He thought it through, planned it, had weapons of choice."

Survivors remember that night of terror. But best friends Carey Rottman and Pierce O'Farrell said they choose to focus on the fact that they're both alive -- something they say is no accident.

"The worst part for me was thinking my buddy had passed away. I mean he just married my wife and I three weeks ago!" Rottman said.

"The Lord's decided that He's going to keep me around!" O'Farrell said. "I keep it pretty simple: I get out of bed every day and thank Him for another day, and I just let Him lead the way. And He's led me so far."

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CBN News
Caitlin Burke and Efrem Graham

Caitlin Burke and Efrem Graham

CBN News

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