In a phone conversation about accused murderer James Holmes, A University of Colorado police officer discussed putting Holmes on a mental health hold in June, but his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, declined, sources told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia.
Dr. Fenton called members of the CU Denver Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team, or BETA, in early June to express concerns that Holmes was a threat to others, CALL7 Investigators previously reported.
One of those BETA members was an officer with the CU campus police, sources said. After Fenton expressed concerns about Holmes and asked for a background check, the officer and the psychiatrist discussed putting him on an M-1 hold, which allowed authorities to hold and evaluate a person’s mental health for up to 72-hours, multiple sources familiar with the investigation said.
But for unknown reasons, Fenton declined the mental health hold, the sources told Ferrugia.
Sources said since Holmes had no criminal background or warrants, police had no reason to detain him but could have if Fenton had asked for a mental health hold.
Six weeks later, Aurora police arrested Holmes on the murder of 12 people and the shootings of 58 others at an Aurora movie theater on July 20.
Sources familiar with the investigation say Fenton made the calls to the BETA team, including the CU campus police officer, on June 11, the day after Holmes submitted paperwork to withdraw from the university’s neuroscience Ph.D. program. The next day CU officials cancelled Holmes' security card.
Ferrugia reported previously that Fenton had also consulted with two of her colleagues about Holmes. His withdrawal paperwork came three days after Holmes failed an oral exam.
Holmes had already begun purchasing guns before he failed his exam. In May, he bought a 12-gauge shotgun at Bass Pro-Shop and a .40 caliber Glock at Gander Mountain in Thornton.
On June 7, the afternoon he failed his exam, he purchased an AR-15 assault rifle at the Thornton store, sources said.
CU cancelled his security card on June 12, denying him access to secure areas or labs in the university, and campus officials have repeatedly claimed his card was cancelled solely because he submitted papers to withdraw from CU.
An attorney for Fenton declined comment, citing the gag order.