DENVER (CN) - Victims of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. sued the Cinemark movie chain Wednesday, the day before a state judge ruled that James Holmes must stand trial for the shooting spree that killed 12 and wounded 70 people.
Arapahoe County Judge William Sylvester ruled Thursday night that there is sufficient evidence to hold James Holmes for trial on 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. Holmes, 25, is accused of massacring people at the midnight opening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," at the
Aurora Century 16 movie theater on July 20 last year.
Munirih Gravelly claims she received nine shotgun pellet wounds in the shooting. She went to the movie with her friends Chichi and Derick Spruel, who filed a separate complaint. Their friend Jesse Childress, who went with them, was murdered.
Both federal complaints contain grisly firsthand accounts of the carnage.
Both complaints say Cinemark USA dba Century Aurora 16 could have prevented the massacre.
Both complaints say: "Upon information and belief, before July 20, 2012, defendant had information that previous disturbances, incidents, disruptions and other criminal activities had taken place at or near the property of the theater. Based on information and belief, at the Aurora Mall, at 14200 E. Alameda Avenue, from March 20, 2012 through July 19, 2012, these incidents included approximately 99 emergency 911 calls, 35 additional calls involving assaults, concealed weapons, disorderly conduct, a shooting, robberies, and suspicious persons. Based on information and belief, at the theatre, located at 14300 E. Alameda, from March 19, 2012 through July 14, 2012, these incidents included 9 calls involving suspicious activity, mental health, fighting and emergency 911 calls. Many of the referenced incidents took place during the evening hours."
The Spruels say: "Approximately 15-20 minutes after the beginning of the showing of the movie, the gunman began his assault by throwing what appeared to be a tear gas canister from the right side of the screen to the left rear of the auditorium. The gunman then began firing into the audience.
"During the assault, the gunman fired various firearms and shot many people. A number of individuals in Auditorium 9, and at least one person in Auditorium 8, were struck by gunfire.
"Plaintiff Chichi Spruel initially thought that someone was setting fireworks off in the theater, and turned to her husband, Derick Spruel, for confirmation. When she turned toward her husband she looked in front of the chair her husband was sitting in and saw that the person sitting in the seat in front of her husband was lying face up, with blood on his head, and had apparently been killed by the gunshots. She then realized that she had to get out of the line of fire and immediately lay down on the floor in front of her seat, and called 911. Her friend, Jesse Childress, was lying face down on the floor in a pool of blood, apparently killed by the gunshots.