Date: July 29 2012
The suspect in the Colorado theatre rampage was seeing a University of Colorado psychiatrist who studies schizophrenia, according to court records, in the first indication university officials were familiar with James Holmes's mental state.
Mr Holmes was a patient of Lynne Fenton, the medical director of student mental health services at the university, according to the suspect's lawyers. Mr Holmes withdrew from a PhD program in neuroscience after taking oral exams in early June.
Police say Mr Holmes carried out a methodically planned assault on moviegoers, employing legally purchased guns he began acquiring in May. Twelve people died in the attack, and 58 were injured.
After the 2007 mass shooting that left 33 dead at Virginia Tech, the University of Colorado set up a special team to spot students who were suicidal or might pose a threat to others. There is no indication that the team - made up of mental health professionals, campus police and others - had identified Mr Holmes as a student in need of monitoring.
The university's Michael Carrigan said the team had improved campus life. ''It has brought to our attention, much sooner, kids who are at a threat for harming themselves,'' such as students considering suicide, he said.
Mr Holmes sent a notebook to Dr Fenton sometime before the shooting rampage, his lawyers said in a motion filed on Friday. The notebook included a journal of sorts and crude drawings depicting a mass gun attack, according to news reports.
But whether the package reached the university before the tragedy is in dispute. Police seized the package on Monday but Dr Fenton had not opened it, according to court records.
Mr Holmes's lawyers argued that Mr Holmes's privacy and constitutional rights had been violated by media coverage and that investigators were not necessarily entitled to see the troubled student's communication with his psychiatrist.
The Washington Post
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