Doc Warned University 'Threat Team' About Holmes
But police weren't contacted because shooting suspect dropped out
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2012 1:37 AM CDT
Updated Aug 2, 2012 5:44 AM CDT
James Holmes appears in court in Colorado last week with defense attorney Tamara Brady.   (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The psychiatrist for Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes was so concerned about his state of mind that she alerted members of the University of Colorado's "threat team." But they did nothing because Holmes soon dropped out of school, just six weeks before the shooting rampage in a local theater, reports ABC News. Psychiatrist Lynne Fenton, who was treating Holmes, 24, is also a member of the university threat assessment panel, which is charged with protecting the school from potentially violent students. Fenton, who helped write the school's policy on threat assessment and had the power to convene a meeting of the panel, informed the other members of her worries about Holmes in early June, according to KMGH-TV.

But by June 10, just days after he bought an assault rifle, Holmes had dropped out of the university's neuroscience doctoral program. The threat team never met about Holmes, contacted local police, nor took any other action because members believed they no longer had any "control" over him, sources told KMGH. Holmes was charged this week in the rampage last month that killed 12 and injured 58.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Aug 2, 2012 10:11 AM CDT
Want to bet that they didn't contact authorities because they were afraid of potential lawsuits?
Aug 2, 2012 9:34 AM CDT
And the soap opera continues. What a drastic change from the brilliant student who never had any problems in the past. We are learning he was not so brilliant and having difficulties keeping up with the possibility he felt he had nowhere to turn. Now there is a psychiatric history at the college. The mother is now trying to deny she said she knew her son did it. Personally I think they knew more but the Christmas party on the lawn parents were more about keeping up appearances. There seems to be a lot of people keeping secrets but as usual they always come out. I have felt this guy was not insane and faking it. If proven wrong and people knew he was ill then they bear a big part of what happened and Holmes was failed by many around him.
Aug 2, 2012 8:16 AM CDT
Dr. Fenton had no obligation to anyone other than her private duties to the university, in the matter of Holmes' attack on the movie spectators. This recent business of holding professionals accountable for the bad behavior of patients, or clients is going too far. If, in Dr. Fenton's opinion, Holmes had mentioned a specific person, or persons he intended to kill, and there had been compelling reasons under the circumstances that this dangerous act were probable, she may have been morally bound to make a report to the police. What if every professional were bound to have a hotline to the police, under threat of penalty? How many people would be under surveillance, special observation, and more obnoxiously, become instant persons of interest? Leave the professionals to be doctors, social workers, and other care givers. Create a supportive society of communities instead of the protracted alienating one of rabid competition and deluded, impractical dreams. The potential Holmes may never be.