Doctor Treating Colorado Theater Shooter Rejected Psychiatric Hold Idea


A University of Colorado psychiatrist treating suspected theater shooter James Holmes rejected an offer to put him on a 72-hour psychiatric hold after he told her that he fantasized about killing “a lot of people,” a source told The Denver Post. Six weeks later, Holmes carried out his fantasy, killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 others in a massacre at the midnight premiere of a Batman movie at an Aurora cinema. Lynne Fenton, the psychiatrist who treated Holmes, has not publicly revealed what Holmes told her that made her notify the campus-wide threat-assessment team that she helped create years before.

University police officer Lynn Whitten asked Fenton whether she should apprehend Holmes, 24, and place him on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. Fenton, who has the authority to ask for a hold, rejected the idea. Holmes was in the process of quitting a neuroscience graduate program where he had been a student since June. The university released nearly 3,800 e-mails from the university’s e-mail system that reference Holmes or that were sent to or by Holmes from his two university e-mail accounts. The university removed any e-mails that deal with Holmes’ mental health, the crime, and any personal communication involving Holmes.

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