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University releases e-mails related to Colorado theater shooting suspect

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 11:46 AM EST, Thu December 6, 2012
The University of Colorado at Denver released more than 3,800 e-mails that were sent or received by James Holmes or mentioned his name in the text.
The University of Colorado at Denver released more than 3,800 e-mails that were sent or received by James Holmes or mentioned his name in the text.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • University releases nearly 4,000 e-mails related to James Holmes
  • CNN affiliate reports doctor decided in June against ordering a three-day mental evaluation
  • Theater where shootings occurred will reopen in mid-January

(CNN) -- Thousands of e-mails released Wednesday by the university once attended by the Colorado movie theater shooting suspect reveal James Holmes may have once had a romantic relationship with a fellow graduate student and possibly had two badges for the campus at the time of the attack.

The University of Colorado at Denver, in response to media requests for Holmes' records, released more than 3,800 e-mails that were sent or received by Holmes or mentioned his name in the text.

Holmes is accused of going on a shooting spree during a midnight screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" July 20 at an Aurora cinema, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.

One e-mail sent about 11 hours after the shooting said Holmes may have been involved for a short time with a student in a professor's program.

The public gets its first glimpse of James Holmes, 24, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting during his initial court appearance Monday, July 23. With his hair dyed reddish-orange, Holmes, here with public defender Tamara Brady, showed little emotion. He is accused of opening fire in a movie theater Friday, July 20, in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. More photos: Mourning the victims of the Colorado theater massacre The public gets its first glimpse of James Holmes, 24, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting during his initial court appearance Monday, July 23. With his hair dyed reddish-orange, Holmes, here with public defender Tamara Brady, showed little emotion. He is accused of opening fire in a movie theater Friday, July 20, in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. More photos: Mourning the victims of the Colorado theater massacre
Colorado movie theater shooting
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"She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now," an e-mail from the professor says. "She knows, and is pretty freaked out."

Also Wednesday, CNN affiliate KMGH reported sources said Holmes began to fantasize about killing "a lot of people" in early June, nearly six weeks before the shootings.

Were red flags on Holmes ignored?
Were red flags on Holmes ignored?

The sources, who were not identified by the station but who were described as being familiar with the investigation, told KMGH that a doctor treating Holmes was asked in June if she wanted to order him held for 72 hours to be evaluated by mental health professionals. But the station's sources said the doctor decided against it because Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the school.

But an e-mail sent in July on the day of the shootings within the school's information technology department acknowledged that Holmes still had an active computer account at the time, and two badges for the campus.

One official in the IT department answered the original message by saying that the department should only act on the legal department's advice and not deactivate Holmes' computer access.

Hundreds of the e-mails released were redacted by the school, citing privacy laws.

Many of the ones that weren't were sent between university officials in the aftermath of the killings, including one sent about seven hours later with the subject line "Horrible News."

The professor who wrote the e-mail wonders if the suspect is the James Holmes she knows and asks others if they think it would be wise to meet with the students who may have had class with him.

Other e-mails among those released were purportedly from Holmes, usually signed with "Cheers, James Holmes."

The movie theater complex where the shootings occurred will reopen to the public on January 18, the Aurora mayor's office said Wednesday.

Victims and their families will be invited to visit the theater on January 15 and 16, the mayor's office said. The next night the theater will host an event for other invited guests then will show free movies for the first three days it is open to everyone.

Holmes, who faces 152 charges, including murder and weapons offenses, is next due in court December 10.

Holmes 'unable' to appear in court in November, hearing postponed

CNN's Jim Spellman in Denver and John Fricke in Atlanta contributed to this report

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