Dear Commons Colleagues,
The Huffington Post is reporting that a psychiatrist treating James Holmes warned colleagues on a University of Colorado safety committee before the Aurora shooting that her patient might be a threat to others, station KMGH revealed today.
“Dr. Lynne Fenton discussed Holmes with several members of the Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team in June, about six weeks before he allegedly killed 12 people and wounded 58 in a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The team assesses possible on-campus threats.
Despite Fenton’s fears that Holmes might be dangerous, the university didn’t take any action after the 24-year-old suddenly dropped out of a Ph.D neuroscience program on June 10, ABC News said.
Holmes quit the University of Colorado on June 7 shortly after failing an oral exam. That same day he purchased an assault rifle.
The university committee reviewing possible threats never contacted the Aurora police, KMGH reported.
On July 20, the day of the shooting, Holmes sent a notebook to Fenton. The contents of the notebook are disputed and his attorneys have argued that it should be kept confidential because of doctor-patient privileges.
Prosecutors charged Holmes on Monday with 142 crimes. The charges include 24 counts of first-degree murder — one count of murder with deliberation and one count of murder with extreme indifference for each of the slain victims.
The revelation that Fenton suspected Holmes had the potential to harm others was reminiscent of the 2007 attack at Virginia Tech, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Virginia Tech was faulted for not acting upon warning signs reported by an English professor about Seung-Hui Cho, the student who killed 33 people, including himself, during a 2007 rampage.”