James Holmes Was Referred to CU Campus “Threat Assessment Team” Before Aurora ShootingPosted: August 1, 2012
Here we go . . . Raise your hand if you didn’t suspect this was coming. The Denver Post has learned from “a source” that:
The University of Colorado Denver psychiatrist seeing accused murderer James Eagan Holmes was so alarmed by his behavior that she notified the campus-wide threat assessment team [known as the Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment, or BETA] that she helped create years before, a source told The Denver Post.
The source apparently didn’t specify what it was about Holmes’ behavior that frightened the psychiatrist. Fenton first called the threat assessment team about Holmes in “the first 10 days of June,” but once Holmes began the process of withdrawing from the CU doctoral program in neuroscience the so-called BETA team dropped their inquiry.
Dr. Lynne Fenton, identified in a court document as Holmes’ psychiatrist, in June took her concerns to members of the campus’ Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team but no further action was taken, a source with knowledge of the process told The Post….
The information was first reported late Wednesday by Denver’s KMGH-TV. The station, citing unnamed sources, reported that CU-Denver officials did not contact Aurora police before the July 20 massacre at the Century Aurora 16 theater that killed 12 people and injured 58 others. There was no mention in the report of whether CU-Denver police were notified.
According to the Denver Post article, the BETA team consists of a “group of high-level academic employees skilled at assessing potential threats on campus” It does not include anyone from the campus police department.
ABC News also claims to have confirmed all of this with their own sources. They quote a “threat assessment expert,” Barry Spodak regarding Holmes’ withdrawal from the university:
“You know, I think that’s the signal that you should intensify your efforts, not walk away,” said Barry Spodak, a threat assessment expert. “Under those circumstances, most well-trained threat assessment teams would have gone into action.”
How stupid is that? The university is going to held liable for knowing that Holmes was acting strangely. Why would they assume that his withdrawing from the program meant they were no longer responsible for monitoring him? I’m sure we’ll soon be hearing about other people who were concerned about Holmes’ behavior and did nothing.
UPDATE: The Denver ABC Channel has even more details.
Sources said when Holmes withdrew, the BETA team “had no control over him.”
“It takes more than just statements,” said one source, explaining that Holmes would have had to tell Fenton “something specific” before she would have to report it to law enforcement.
“He would have to tell her he had taken steps to make it happen,” said another source.