Tort Law

Former US Attorney to Review U of Colo Actions re Ex-Grad Student Charged in Movie Theater Shootings

A former United States attorney for the District of Colorado has been retained by the University of Colorado to conduct an internal review concerning its handling of a former graduate student who is accused of killing 12 people in a movie theater shooting spree last month.

Robert N. Miller, who started the review last week, is assessing the university’s systems, procedures and actions as they related to Holmes, the university announced in a Friday press release. He is a partner at Perkins Coie.

“We are committed to evaluating every step in the process to ensure it worked properly,” said Chancellor Donald M. Elliman Jr. said in the release. “We want the community–especially the loved ones of those who lost their lives and the individuals injured in this senseless tragedy–to know our resolve rests with understanding all the facts so we can assist law enforcement and other authorities in ensuring that justice prevails.”

The university said that Miller has not been given any deadline for completing his report, nor has any limitation been placed on areas of inquiry. The university has promised to cooperate with his review.

News of the review by Miller follows earlier unconfirmed reports that a university psychiatrist had warned an internal threat-assessment team of concerns about James Holmes, who was then a neuroscience graduate student. He subsequently dropped out in June and is charged with shooting 12 people to death and injuring dozens of others in a movie theater spree shooting in Aurora in July.

Relying on unidentified sources, KMGH reports that the threat-assessment team ended its review when Holmes dropped out and did not notify Aurora police.

Additional coverage: “Will U of Colorado Face Duty-to-Warn Suits re Off-Campus Movie Theater Shooting Spree?”

Associated Press: “Movie theater attack: Did school drop the ball?”

Los Angeles Times: “Colorado shootings: University launches independent review”

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