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Colo. Psychiatrist Told Cop About Theater Shooter's Threats

April 05, 2013  | 

Screenshot via CBS News.
Screenshot via CBS News.

The Aurora theater shooter's psychiatrist alerted a campus police officer about her client's homicidal threats about a month before the attack, newly released documents show.

Dr. Lynne Fenton informed Lynn Whitten, a University of Colorado officer, about threats Fenton recieved after James Holmes stopped seeing her. Officer Whitten responded on June 12 by deactivating Holmes' key-card access to secure areas of campus medical buildings. On June 13, Holmes bought a 100-round magazine for his semiautomatic rifles, reports the Denver Post.

Holmes threatened Fenton in text messages and e-mails. Fenton told Officer Whitten that Holmes was "a danger to the public."

Holmes is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in the July 20 attack during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Returns." On Monday, prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty for Holmes.

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

[email protected] @ 4/6/2013 9:48 AM

May I ask why Whitten has not been charged with "failure to act"? Why wasn't local law enforcement notified of the threats? And please, don't refer to Whitten as an Officer, as that denotes someone with the training and integrity to protect and serve. That means everybody, not just the University. If Whitten had informed DPD, maybe that pos would have been stopped. But she didn't bother. Sad. Blues, Stay Safe.

DEADMAN @ 4/8/2013 6:20 PM

Unfortunately,university officers have it ingrained in their psyche,to do little,on orders from the dean or president of the university,that's why so many crimes,especially rapes are not reported to local authorities.Instead of rapes the calls would be downgraded to assault,disturbance,disorderly or some other such crime.The university doesn't want parents and students to be able to find statistics,damaging to recruitment and it looks like whitten filled the bill,only do what the university prescribes,turn his access card off,WOW!The access system should also record any attempts by holmes to use the card after the system turned his card off.He probably bought the magazine after the system stopped him,even though he probably could have gotten by following another person in,it's happened before.Fenton should have notified the local police herself because,i'm sure,she doesn't live on campus and the university authorities because in this particular case,informing whitten was definately not enough,she didn't follow-up.There are laws out there but if officers and other authorities aren't going to follow-up and do their jobs.
It's like that assistant coach that reported on sandusky to paterno,he should have gone further,he didn't and more boys were molested.


Allie @ 4/8/2013 8:31 PM

Oh honestly- there is nothing anyone could have done to stop this guy. you can't jail someone who has actually not broken the law- right? The ACLU would go bananas over that! We all have our right of freedom of speech- right, liberals?

Mike @ 4/8/2013 8:46 PM

So a psychiatrist is threaten by someone that she believes is"a danger to the public" and she tries to pass it off on the Officer to do something? In my State a physiatrist has the ability to emergence petition someone too! I also have to have personal contact and knowledge to EP someone, not hearsay! A big problem in my opinion with our mental health system. The Officer did what she probably was obligated and restricted in doing! You're bashing of her is not appropriate!

Ima Leprechaun @ 4/9/2013 1:27 AM

It's interesting that his Psychiatrist told campus police about his private conversations with her during sessions. I have no idea what kind of authority the campus police at that location operate under, but they should have passed anything this dangerous on to the County Sheriff's Office. My biggest problem here is in most states it is illegal for a psychiatrist to disclose any information to anyone without the expressed permission of her client regardless of threats made to her or the public. I hope she will have her license permenantly revoked and she will be investigated by the AMA for violating Doctor/Patient confidentiality rules as well as HIPPA Laws which carry some hefty fines and jail time. It's the way the laws are written in nearly every state but I recognize there are a few states that don't recognize basic human rights and Colorado is probabaly one of them. We don't know how she gained this information if it was a dream he had or an outright threat but unless he gave her permission to reveal it she is in as much trouble as he is. It was probably worth losing everything she has to tell someone about him but she needs to be punished as well for violating this scum bag's civil rights.

Ima Leprechaun @ 4/9/2013 1:48 AM

I wonder how many years she treated him and why it took her so long to make up her mind to report him. In the few states I am familar with she can't tell anybody anything unless he gave her written permission to do so. She could have put him in for a hospital evaluation but as most know they can only be held for observation for 72 hours unless they show intense signs of psychotic behavior. Most of the craziest know how to play the system and act "normal" for 72 hrs and then they know they have to be released. We don't handle the mentally ill very well in the USA, if we had better assistance for them a lot of the crazier people would remain in a hospital where they can get treatment and be kept out of the public. As it stands now I have had many cases thrown out just because the suspect was declared mentally incompetent and the system refuses to prosecute them, so they just let them go. I know of one mass murderer free today because he was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial, in the Pacific Northwest for ten murders and has never served a day in Prison for murder. I manged to give him six months for driving a stolen car, my court didn't buy his mental incompetence but once extradited back to the Pacific Northwest he was set free again by their court. So you never really know what will happen these days.

Nichole @ 4/9/2013 4:12 AM

Oh my god, Ima, give it a rest.

Steve @ 4/9/2013 5:08 AM

Ima, are you a complete moron. Most states that I'm aware of make a special exception to allow health professionals to alert authorities if a patient, in their opinion, is a danger to the public. ie. actually making threats. I'm sure you would rather see everyone dead than to violate his right to privacy. You idiot.

AJ @ 4/9/2013 6:15 AM

In Colorado, she is a mandatory reporter. that's why all the heat has been on her until it was released that she did alert the police as required by law.

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