DENVER: A psychiatrist who treated accused Colorado theatre gunman James Holmes rejected a law enforcement offer to involuntarily confine him for 72 hours after he told her six weeks before the shooting that he fantasised about killing “a lot of people,” the Denver Post reported on Wednesday.
Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper said that Holmes made the remark to his therapist, Lynne Fenton, on June 11.
But when a University of Colorado police officer asked whether to detain Holmes on a psychiatric hold, Fenton said no.
A psychiatric hold is usually involuntary hospitalisation for mental health evaluation.
Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire during a midnight screening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises in suburban Denver in July, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.
The former neuroscience graduate student bought a ticket to the blockbuster movie, but left the theatre minutes into the film to don a suit of tactical body armour, helmet and gas mask before returning and spraying the unsuspecting crowd with gunfire from multiple weapons, police have said.
An attorney for Fenton could not be reached by reporters, but has previously said she would not be commenting on media reports about her client.
University police also declined to comment, citing a court-ordered gag order.
The report came on the same day that the University of Colorado released roughly 3,800 emails pertaining to Holmes that shed light on his student life and the reaction of faculty as it became clear one of their own was the suspected gunman.
“He was a grad student here and, it turns out, had a brief romantic relationship with one of the grad students in my programme last fall,” Larry Hunter, a computational bioscience professor, wrote in a July 20 email.
“She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now. She knows, and is pretty freaked out.”
Another faculty member, Angie Ribera, a professor in the neuroscience department, questioned in the hours after the shooting whether the gunman was linked to the university.
“There are several individuals with the name James Holmes. This one is 24 and lives in North Aurora which makes me wonder if this is the one whom we know.”