The Denver Post is reporting that a school psychiatrist referred James Holmes to a campus unit tasked with identifying potential threats to public safety in June, just weeks before he murdered 12 people in Aurora, Colorado. Court hearings had previously revealed that the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting was being treated by Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado-Denver where Holmes had been a student. According the paper, Fenton was concerned enough about his behavior that she referred him to the Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) team, a group of university employees that was assigned to evaluate and help individuals who may pose a threat to campus safety.
Fenton made her referral in the first few days of June, but no meeting was ever held about Holmes, possibly because he was making plans to leave school at the time. The BETA group does not include law enforcement or have administrative powers, and the campus police were not involved. No one at the school commented on the report, which would appear to violate a gag order placed on the case by the overseeing judge.
Holmes reportedly sent a package to Fenton before the shooting on July 20 that included a notebook with details of his plans. The notebook arrived after the shooting, and defense attorneys protested that the existence of the package was revealed to media by law enforcement before the trial could begin. Holmes was charged earlier this week with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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