CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Before he killed 12 people in a crowded Colorado movie theater, James Holmes hoped he would be remembered for his achievements in school. After the shooting, he said he believed he would be known as a "bad guy" — successful only in his deadly mission.
"I don't think people would remember me for any other reason," Holmes told a psychiatrist last year. "I accomplished what I set out to do."
In videotaped conversations being shown in his death penalty trial this week, Holmes told the psychiatrist he didn't consider how people would remember him as he meticulously planned for the July 2012 shooting that also injured 70 people.
Dr. William Reid repeatedly pressed him on the subject, pointing to a notebook in which Holmes documented his planning and photos he took of himself with fiery orange hair and black contact lenses, posing with guns.
Holmes said he hoped the photos would show people he was "mentally different. ... This guy is different from other people."
But under questioning by District Attorney George Brauchler on Tuesday, Reid said he found "a great deal of evidence of rational thinking" by Holmes.
Jurors are watching nearly 22 hours of interviews with Reid, who conducted a court-ordered evaluation of Holmes after he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Defense attorneys say schizophrenia distorted Holmes' sense of right and wrong and that he should be committed indefinitely to the state mental hospital.
Prosecutors argue Holmes should be convicted and executed. They say he doesn't meet Colorado's definition of insanity: Unable to tell right from wrong, or unable to form the intent necessary to commit a crime because of a mental disease or defect.
Reid has told jurors he believes Holmes was mentally ill but legally sane at the time of the shootings.
In portions of the interview shown Tuesday, Holmes says he lingered outside the suburban Denver movie theater for a moment or two, thinking someone at a mental health hotline might talk him out of killing people he didn't know, or that the FBI might swoop in and stop him.
But his phone call to the crisis line was disconnected after 9 seconds, before anyone answered, and the FBI did not show up.
So after hesitating a few seconds more, he walked inside, tossed a tear-gas canister and opened fire, he says on the video.
"At that point, I'm on autopilot," he says in an eerily flat and expressionless voice.
Holmes tells Reid that he called the hotline on his cellphone while he was outside the theater, halfway through, as he put it, "gearing up" for the attack — putting on body armor and gathering up his assault rifle, shotgun and handgun.
Why did he call?, Reid asks.
"Just one last chance to see if I should turn back," Holmes answers, but he said he doubted he could have been talked out of it.
What did he feel when the phone call was disconnected?
"Just that it was really going to happen," he says.
Reid prods Holmes to recall what he felt, saw and heard inside the theater, but Holmes gives only clipped answers.
"I was kind of blocked out," he says.
He fired all six of his shotgun shells, he says, and then began firing his rifle at seats. What about the people?, Reid asks.
"The people are hiding behind the seats," Holmes says.
Holmes kept firing until his rifle jammed. After he couldn't fit a different magazine into the weapon, he walked outside, he says. He was arrested moments later.
Associated Press writer Dan Elliott contributed from Denver.