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Crime & Courts

Psychiatrist's warning about Holmes ignored when he dropped out

The psychiatrist who was treating Colorado movie massacre suspect James Holmes warned a University of Colorado threat-assessment team that he could be a danger, but no action was taken because he soon dropped out of school, the Denver Post reported.

Dr. Lynne Fenton, who has been identified in court documents as Holmes' psychiatrist, told the Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) team in June she was concerned about Holmes' behavior, the newspaper reported. On July 20, Holmes, a grad student at the school's neuroscience program, allegedly killed 12 and injured 58 when he opened fire at a midnight showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo.

The information was first reported late Wednesday by Denver's KMGH-TV, 7News. The station, citing unnamed sources, reported that CU-Denver officials did not contact Aurora police before the July 20 massacre. first reported that Holmes mailed a chilling notebook to Fenton in which he detailed his plans, but the psychiatrist never received the package. It is not clear what disturbing signs in Holmes she saw that prompted her to warn the school.

"I believe, until it's been demonstrated otherwise, that our people did what they should have done," said University Chancellor Don Elliman.

Fenton helped establish the BETA team, which sought to "determine when student action moves from an academic concern only to a broader campus concern," according to minutes from the meeting.

"Generally, if you believe the threat is imminent, call campus police. If you think it's best to involve the BETA team, contact Lynne Fenton," the minutes say.

Fenton no longer is a BETA team leader but remains an adviser to the program, CU officials said.

Click for more at Denver Post.


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