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Doc warned university about shooter

James Holmes appears in court with defence attorney Tamara Brady.

DENVER — A psychiatrist who treated the former graduate student accused of killing 12 people in a shooting rampage at a movie theatre in Colorado warned her university about him more than a month before the massacre, a published report said yesterday.

Dr Lynne Fenton notified a so-called threat-assessment team at the University of Colorado, Denver, in early June that she was alarmed by the behaviour of James Holmes, but no further action was taken, the Denver Post reported, citing an anonymous source. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

Holmes, 24, was charged on Monday with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the shooting at a midnight screening of the latest “Batman” movie in suburban Denver, one of the worst outbursts of US gun violence in recent years.

Court papers filed by defence attorneys last week said Holmes, a former neuroscience student at the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus, had been a patient of Fenton, who is medical director for student mental health services on campus.

Fox News has reported that Holmes sent Fenton a notebook outlining his plans for the shooting, illustrated by stick-figure drawings, but that it was not opened before the attack.

A university spokeswoman, Jacque Montgomery, declined to comment to Reuters on the Denver Post report, saying she was bound by a protective or “gag” order issued by the judge in the case and by student confidentiality laws.

“I believe, until it’s been demonstrated otherwise, that our people did what they should have done,” University Chancellor Don Elliman said in a statement, according to Montgomery. (Reuters)

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