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Friday, April 5, 2013 - 1:28pm
A psychiatrist, who treated suspected mass killer James Holmes, warned police a month before the Colorado theater shooting that Holmes had made homicidal statements and was a danger to the public, according to documents released this week.
It is unclear what was done with that information or if that warning could have helped stop the July 20 shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead and dozens injured.
Holmes, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, faces 166 charges, including murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses, tied to the rampage during a screening of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises."
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty and on Thursday released a batch of documents that revealed new details on the case including the warning from Holmes' former psychiatrist.
In June 2012, Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist with the University of Colorado Medical Campus, contacted a campus officer about Holmes, according to a search warrant affidavit.
"Dr. Fenton was advising that she had been treating Holmes, and that Holmes had stopped seeing her and had begun threatening her via text message, " the affidavit said.
Fenton went on to say, according to the affidavit, that Holmes was a "danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made."
Fenton could face more than a dozen lawsuits that blame her and the school for not properly handling Holmes' treatment.
At least 14 people have filed legal documents indicating they are planning to sue the University of Colorado Denver and Fenton for negligence.
Other documents released Thursday gave new details on what officers found when they searched Holmes' Aurora apartment.
Among other things officers found a Batman mask, more than 300 bullets, tactical magazines and textbooks.
The next pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled for April 10.