Psychiatrist Had Referred Aurora Shooter to ‘Threat Assessment Team’ [Updated]

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Holmes in court.Photo: RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images

Sources have told the Denver Post that the doctor treating alleged Dark Knight shooter James Holmes referred him to a "behavioral evaluation and threat assessment" team because she was "so alarmed" by Holmes's behavior. A court document filed Friday indicated that Holmes had been undergoing treatment with University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. In early June, Dr. Fenton alerted members of the school's Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team (BETA) that he might be a danger to others, but the team did not contact local police and no further action was taken, according to the Post source and local station KMGH-TV.

ABC News reported that Fenton played a key role in establishing the BETA team in 2010, a group comprised of experts in assessing potential threats. The team was designed to protect the university from potentially violent students. Holmes dropped out of the school's neuroscience doctoral program on June 10, at which time the BETA team believed it "had no control over him."

"You know, I think that's the signal that you should intensify your efforts, not walk away," Barry Spodak, a threat assessment expert, told ABC. "Under those circumstances, most well-trained threat assessment teams would have gone into action."

It's still unclear what exactly Holmes told Fenton that prompted her to discuss the matter with her colleagues.

In another bizarre twist in the case, Diggity Dave of MTV's Pimp My Ride claimed in a radio interview that someone named James Holmes contacted him twice about a month before the Colorado shooting. The caller, Dave said, was interested in his upcoming film, a "very sick and dark twist of the Batman movies." (If this is a publicity stunt, it's a very sick and dark one.)

According to Dave, Holmes said he watched the violent trailer more than 100 times. "He would tell me what he really liked about the trailer. He kept pressing if I could give him more information on the story. He wanted to know how many people Batman kills," according to Dave, who believes he spoke with the Aurora shooter, although he can't prove it. "He wanted to know if it was selective killing. Does he make a list of people he wants to kill or is it a mass body count?"

On Monday, Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder in the first degree, among the 142 total counts, for allegedly perpetrating the July 20 movie theater massacre in which 12 people died and 58 were injured.

This post has been updated throughout.