James Holmes remained unapologetic and irrational today in a Colorado jail where his life was at risk from inmates bent on revenge.
Holmes, held under suicide watch in solitary confinement, remained in his murderous “Joker” persona after arriving at the Arapahoe Detention Center, a jailhouse worker told the Daily News.
“Let’s just say he hasn’t shown any remorse,” the employee said. “He thinks he’s acting in a movie.”
The man accused in the midnight theater massacre was still acting bizarrely a day after his rampage at a screening of “The Dark Night Rises” – the last film in the Batman trilogy.
“He was spitting at the door and spitting at the guards,” one released inmate told The News outside the jail. “He’s spitting at everything. Dude was acting crazy.”
Two other just-released inmates said the concerns of jail officials over Holmes’ survival were well-founded.
On the suspect’s first night in jail, other prisoners serenaded him with a chant of “kid killer” – a reference to the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old girl.
“All the inmates were talking about killing him,” Wayne Medley, 24, said as he left the facility. “Everyone was looking for an opportunity. It’s all they could talk about.”
Inmate Dima Danilov, 22, said the suspect’s face was covered with a red towel when he arrived at the jail about two hours after 12 people were killed and 58 injured in the Aurora, Colo., multiplex.
Holmes – who had dyed his hair red – was also wearing red clothing beneath the black body armor that terrified moviegoers saw when he opened fire early Friday morning, Danilov said.
Jail guards “blacked out his windows with duct tape so no one could see him,” said Danilov. “He was cuffed in the back and had leg shackles.”
The deranged suspected killer, a former honors student and Ph.D. candidate, said nothing and walked deliberately to his cell with six officers. He was offered a breakfast of grits and sausage, and a ham sandwich for lunch. If Holmes was sent into the general jail population, “he won’t live to see Monday’s court appearance,” Danilov said.
The reclusive killer was expected to make his first court appearance early Monday, offering the nation its first live look at the face of madness.
If found mentally competent and convicted in the murder spree, Holmes could land on Colorado’s Death Row.
One of the dozen people slain in the blizzard of bullets was former Verona, N.J., resident Alex Teves.
The 24-year-old physical therapist was preparing to start graduate school this September, said his aunt, Barbara Slivinske.
“He was a wonderful person,” she told the News. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was loved by everyone. He was a lot of fun, he had a great sense of humor.”
Also killed was Gorden Cowden, 51, an Aurora-based real estate appraiser and father of four.
“He was a man who loved God, loved his country, loved the outdoors but most of all loved his family,” his ex-wife said.
The other slain victims ran the gamut from a man celebrating his 27th birthday to the 6-year-old, from a U.S. Navy sailor to an aspiring sportscaster.
“What a miracle it wasn’t worse,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Seven of the victims remained in critical condition Saturday at Colorado hospitals.
Holmes received a large volume of ammo and other deliveries at home and work in recent months – an indication of planning and premeditation, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said.
Cops emptied the blood-spattered theater of all personal effects, including shoes, clothing and purses abandoned in the mad scramble for life.
Survivors and the victims’ families can start collecting the items Monday, said Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates.
The entrance to the movie theater parking lot became an impromptu memorial to the victims, with 12 candles flickering alongside endless piles of flowers and bouquets. Others commemorated the good fortune that spared their names from the litany of the lost.
High school football star Zackary Golditch, 17, committed last month to Colorado State. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive tackle was recovering Saturday from a gunshot that tore through a wall and into his neck as he sat in an adjoining theater.
It ricocheted off the side of his skull and came back out of his neck in two parts,” said his uncle Benjamin Phillips.
So many victims poured into The Medical Center of Aurora that certified nurse midwife Tanya Tanner stepped forward to treat the wounded.
“I’m a nurse. That’s what I do,” Tanner said.
The White House announced Saturday that President Obama would travel to Aurora on Sunday to visit with the victims of the shooting.