The University of Colorado's Anschultz Campus Received Disturbing Notebook From Aurora Theater Shooting Suspect on Monday
A notebook sent through the mail by the Aurora CO theater shooting suspect before Friday morning’s massacre was delivered at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus on Monday — the day of his first court appearance, university officials said.
National news organizations, quoting unnamed law enforcement sources, said the notebook detailed his plans to kill people.
Neither officials with the university nor law enforcement would discuss the contents of the package, citing a judge’s order banning investigators and lawyers involved in the case from discussing it.
A law enforcement official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity did confirm to The Denver Post that a package containing a notebook was sent by the shooter to the university. That official did not know the contents.
University officials, who had been mum on the details surrounding the delivery of two packages that caused the evacuations on the campus Monday, on Wednesday afternoon released a statement to rebut a claim by Fox News that the package had been delivered on July 12 and went unopened for more than a week.
"The anonymous Fox News source that the package was received on July 12 and sat on a loading dock is inaccurate," according to the press release.
The university said the “suspicious package discovered at the Facilities Services building on Monday was delivered to the campus by the U.S. Postal Service that same day, immediately investigated and turned over to authorities within hours of delivery.
"This package prompted the building’s evacuation at 12:26 p.m., and employees were allowed to return by 3:06 p.m."
In addition to Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, NBC and CNN reported law enforcement sources had confirmed that the notebook contained drawings about a massacre and was sent to a CU psychiatrist.
Fox News said the notebook contained drawings of stick figures being shot and a written description of an attack.
It was unclear if the Aurora theater shooter, 24, had had any previous contact with the person.
However, as part of his studies in a neuroscience program on the Anschutz Medical Campus, he was enrolled in a course — “Biological Basis of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders” — that was taught by a psychiatrist and included presentations by seven others with that speciality.
He withdrew from the program June 10.
Whether the package and its contents will affect the criminal proceedings is unknown, said legal analyst Scott Robinson. Often, mass killers produce manifestos to take claim, he said.
Robinson said the initial report that the package had remained unopened for days before the attack created unnecessary anguish for people suffering amid the tragedy.
Denver attorney David Lane said the notebook, if it contains plans, could further reveal premeditation. But, he said, that doesn’t necessarily mean insanity.
"You can be the most intelligent person on the planet and be stark-raving mad," he said. "I would want to see the letter. How logical or coherent is it? You can learn from the wording his state of mind."