University of Colorado to Review how it Handled Shooting Suspect
Booking photograph from July 20, 2012 of James Eagan Holmes. Accused of killing 12 in Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting.
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) — The University of Colorado has hired a former U.S. attorney to conduct an independent review into how the school handled the man accused of opening fire inside a crowded movie theater.
Robert Miller, a former U.S. attorney for Colorado, began the review last week.
“The University is doing everything it can to fully cooperate with the criminal investigation. Additionally, we are doing everything we can to understand how the university’s systems and processes functioned in this situation. Bob Miller comes to us with a stellar reputation for diligence and integrity. We have given him broad latitude to conduct his review,” University of Colorado President Bruce D. Benson said in a statement Friday.
Shooting suspect James Holmes, 24, was a doctoral student at the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus until June, when he withdrew from the program.
He is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 during a screening of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado. He was charged Monday with murder and attempted murder; he also faces two weapons charges.
It’s not clear when Miller is expected to complete his review. Nor is it clear how much of his report will be released to the public. The university said it is under a court order that bars it from discussing matters connected to the criminal investigation, and must also follow laws related to the release of some types of information.
A court document filed last week revealed that Holmes was a patient of CU psychiatrist Lynne Fenton before the July 20 killings.
She was so concerned about his behavior that she mentioned it to her colleagues, saying he could potentially be a danger to others, CNN affiliate KMGH reported Wednesday, citing sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Fenton’s concerns surfaced in early June, nearly six weeks before the attack, sources told the Denver station.
They told KMGH that Fenton contacted several members of a “behavioral evaluation and threat assessment” team to say Holmes could potentially be a danger to others, the station reported.
The “BETA” team consists of “key” staff members from various university departments who have specific expertise in dealing with assessing potential threats on campus, the school says on its website.
Sources told KMGH that university officials did not contact Aurora police with Fenton’s concerns before the attack.
“Fenton made initial phone calls about engaging the BETA team” in “the first 10 days” of June but it “never came together” because in the period Fenton was having conversations with team members, Holmes began the process of dropping out of school, a source told KMGH.
Sources told the station that when Holmes withdrew, the BETA team “had no control over him.”
KMGH said sources did not know what Holmes told Fenton that sparked her concern.
It’s not clear if Fenton continued treating Homes after he dropped out of school, whether she referred him to another medical professional, or had any further contact with him, KMGH reported, citing sources familiar with the investigation.
Michael Carrigan, chairman of the CU board of regents, told KMGH he did not know if Holmes had ever been discussed by the BETA team.
Authorities have remained silent about a possible motive in the case.
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