There Was Advance Warning About Aurora Shooter James Holmes; It Was Ignored

James Holmes booking photo (Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

Accused mass murder James Holmes, who shot up at midnight showing to the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado, so concerned his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado she had refered him to a university threat assessment board. From ABC News:

Aurora, Colo., shooting suspect James Holmes came to the attention of the threat assessment committee at the University of Colorado but no further action was taken because he left the school more than a month before the attack that killed 12 and injured 58, sources told ABC News.

ABC News has learned that Dr. Lynne Fenton, the psychiatrist who was treating Holmes, 24, at the school, was also a key member of the university’s threat assessment team. The group of experts were responsible for protecting the school from potentially violent students.

KMGH-TV, ABC News’ affiliate in Denver, reported exclusively that, according to sources, by early June, Fenton had informed other members of the team about her concerns regarding Holmes.

But on June 10 — three days after Holmes bought an assault weapon and added it to his already growing arsenal — he suddenly told the university that he was dropping out of the neurosciences doctoral program with no explanation.

KMGH-TV reported last week that he’d purchased the weapon hours after failing a key oral exam.

The Denver Post reports:

CU’s website says the BETA team is available whenever faculty, staff or student community members are confronted with people they believe are threatening, disruptive or otherwise problematic.

The team provides guidance and consultation and may make referrals to appropriate campus or community resources. It is not a law enforcement mechanism, said CU officials in a statement released Wednesday.

7News reported Wednesday that a source said Fenton first contacted the BETA team in “the first 10 days” of June, but the team didn’t meet or move the matter forward because Holmes began the process of leaving CU.

The creation of the BETA team was probably a response to the Virginia Tech massacre, as most 2 and 4-year universities reviewed their campus safety and mental health screening programs in the wake of that tragedy.

The tragedy here is that it appears that the university dropped the ball on Holmes because he wasn’t going to be their problem any more. That’s inexcusable…

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