Psychiatrist was aware of Colorado cinema killer’s homicidal intent
Doctor contacted campus police over concerns about James E Holmes
James E Holmes and defence lawyer Tamara Brady during a court appearance in Centennial, Colorado, last month. Photograph: RJ Sangosti/AP
A month before James E Holmes was accused of carrying out a mass shooting in a Colorado cinema, his university psychiatrist reported that he had been having homicidal thoughts and that he was harassing her in emails and text messages, according to documents released on Thursday.
The trove of search warrants, unsealed more than eight months after the shooting, brought to light some new details of Mr Holmes’s arrest, the arsenal he had assembled and the apartment had he wired with explosive booby traps.
When the police were able to defuse the traps and search his apartment, they found ammunition and explosives, role-playing computer games and a Batman mask, according to the documents. They also found more than 40 bottles and cans of beer, two bottles of rum and whiskey and medications, including sedatives and anti-depressants.
Mr Holmes had been a neuroscience student at the University of Colorado Denver, but by June he had in effect dropped out of his graduate programme.
After meeting Mr Holmes in June, the university psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, was so concerned that she contacted the campus police about her worries, according to the documents. Officer Lynn Whitten reported that she deactivated Mr Holmes’s student identification card on June 12th after receiving the complaint.
Mr Holmes (25) is accused of killing 12 people and wounding scores more during a July 20th midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Denver. He was arrested just outside the cinema, dressed in black combat gear.
When officers asked him whether anyone else was with him, he replied, according to the newly released documents: “It is just me.”
Meanwhile, Maryland has become the latest state to approve tough gun-control laws on Thursday, when the state senate approved a reform package, paving the way for it to be signed into law by the governor, who pushed for the legislation.
The state joins Colorado, New York and Connecticut in passing stiff gun-control measures after the December massacre of 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.
Maryland’s Democratic-led senate voted 28-19 to approve the measure, which was passed by the Democratic-controlled state house of delegates on Wednesday. The legislation includes a ban on dozens of assault weapons and limits on magazine size.
The senate approved an earlier version of the Bill last month. It now goes to Democratic governor Martin O’Malley to be signed into law.
The Maryland legislation limits magazine capacity to 10 bullets, requires that gun buyers be fingerprinted and licensed and places new limits on weapons purchases by people with mental illnesses.
It also bans more than 40 types of existing assault rifles, including all models of the AR-15. That weapon was used in the Newtown attack and in the Colorado cinema shooting. – ( New York Times )