Could We Have Avoided the Colorado Shooting?
A university psychiatrist who was treating James Holmes warned the school's threat assessment committee that she was concerned about his behavior. In early June of 2012, Dr. Lynne Fenton informed the threat assessment team of her concerns about James Holmes. But a meeting was never held to discuss the James Holmes threat because he dropped out of school without explanation.The university has said they felt there was nothing more they could do if he was not enrolled.
Over a month later, Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58, making the Colorado shooting incident the worst in US History.
James Holmes Warning Signs
Sources have said that no formal meeting was held to discuss the possible threat James Holmes could be to other students. The university has not commented much on the threat assessment team's failure to meet, citing they are on a gag order. However, the university's chancellor said he thinks that the school did the best they could possible, considering James Holmes dropped out of the neuroscience program.
Still, others who specialize in potential threats say the assessment team should have noted that James Holmes dropping out of school was a "red flag," and that a well-trained team would have followed up on him and not "drop the ball."
James Holmes was recently charged with 24 counts of murder in the first degree for the theater shooting. Each person he killed qualified as two different murder charges; one for planning the mass murder (premeditation) and the other for showing "extreme indifference to life." The charges both could mean the death penalty for James Holmes.
Warning Signs of Violent Behavior
- Confrontational, picks fights easily, unpredictable behavior. Seems agitated and restless, prickly.
- Defiant, intimidating, stubborn or rebellious attitude.
- Makes threatening statements about harming or killing self and others.
- Talks about other violent incidents, preoccupation with violent acts. Seems obsessed with violence.
- Fascination or fondness for guns or other weapons.
- Has the "victim mentality," feels persecuted. Blames anyone but self and refuses to take responsibility for incidences.
- Noticeable decline in job or school performance.
- Intolerant to differences among people.
- Marked changes in mood, behavior or personality.
- Cries excessively. Stops taking care of self physically.
- Oversteps interpersonal boundaries. Inappropriate socially.
- Increases in personal stress, such as academically, family or relationship problems or financial issues.
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