University of Colorado officials Wednesday faced questions about whether the suspect in last week's shooting rampage tried to warn a university psychiatrist about his grisly plan as much as a week before the incident.
The questions came after Fox News reported that the shooting suspect, graduate student James Holmes, mailed to a university psychiatrist a detailed journal that foreshadowed a gun-blazing massacre -- in a package that was not opened before the slayings. The Fox report said a search Monday yielded Holmes' journal, which contained sketches of stick-figure attackers carrying guns and mowing down other stick people with a hail of bullets. The sources cited by Fox said the package with the journal had been sent to the mailroom on July 12, days before the Friday rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in which Holmes is accused of killing 12 people.
University officials declined to provide details about a package seized from the campus by police investigators Monday, other than to explain that mail is delivered once it arrives in the campus mailroom.
A report Wednesday by the Denver Post quoted an unidentified law-enforcement official as confirming that Holmes had mailed a notebook to the psychiatrist. The official, however, told the paper he did not know the contents.
University officials and representatives for local and federal law enforcement agencies Wednesday did not dispute the reports of Holmes's journal. They emphasized, however, that they could not discuss anything related to the investigation due to a judge's order barring comment.
"We are not allowed to discuss anything," said Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania. Bombarded by inquiries Wednesday, Aurora police also sent out a stern tweet: "We would like to remind the media that we are under a COURT ORDER to not discuss the case. Obviously we take this matter very seriously."
Phone calls to the university psychiatric clinic were directed to university spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery, who declined to discuss the package or the identity of the sender.
She told the Denver Post on Monday, after two campus buildings were evacuated over suspicious packages: "We brought in local authorities to look at the situation, they did just that, and they viewed it to be no threat."
Also Wednesday, Gordon Cowden, 51, of Aurora, was mourned in the first memorial service for the 12 slain, The Associated Press reported. He had taken his teen children to the theater, and the children escaped unharmed. Carrying flowers and passing a large portrait of Cowden, about 150 mourners gathered at a Denver church. The memorial was attended by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Aurora police Chief Dan Oates.