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Psychiatrist alerted others about Batman shooter

world Updated: Aug 02, 2012 09:11 IST

AFP
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A psychiatrist who treated a man accused of a mass shooting alerted others weeks before his attack because she was worried about his behavior, a news report said on Wednesday.

James Holmes allegedly opened fire during a packed screening of the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in the Colorado city of Aurora, a suburb of Denver, on July 20.

According to KMGH-TV, ABC News' affiliate in Denver, Lynne Fenton, Holmes' psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Denver earlier this year, had concerns about his behavior almost six weeks before the massacre.

Citing unnamed sources, the broadcaster reported that Fenton notified several members of the university's "Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment" team in the first 10 days of June.

However, it "never came together" because during the time Fenton was reaching out to team members in separate conversations, Holmes -- a neuroscience graduate student -- began the process of withdrawing from the school, KMGH-TV, Denver's Channel 7, said on its website.

Sources did not specify what triggered Fenton's concern. " It takes more than just statements," one source told the station.

"He would have to tell her he had taken steps to make it happen," another was quoted as saying.

Sources also said that University of Colorado officials never contacted Aurora police, the report said.

The University of Colorado Denver website describes the "Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment" team as a new resource "that can provide resources and information to faculty, staff or student community members who are confronted with individuals who may be threatening, disruptive, or otherwise problematic."

On Monday, prosecutors hit Holmes with 142 charges.

There has been speculation that stress over failing an important oral exam may have been a trigger that caused the 24-year-old, a promising student who had won a prestigious government grant, to become unhinged.