University Releases Emails From Alleged Aurora Theater Shooter

James Holmes stands accused of kiling 12 and wounding 58 this past July in a mass shooting

The University of Colorado Denver on Wednesday released thousands of emails regarding James Holmes, the man suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 58 more at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” July 20 in Aurora, Colorado.

The university has released the emails to a dozen news organizations that had been requesting access, including the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. The reuqests, made under the Colorado Open Records Act, were for emails containing Holmes' name and emails to and from Holmes.

Though the university has released thousands of emails that the recipient organizations will now pour through, it also held back emails that involved Holmes’ mental health and the crime he allegedly committed.

The university released 1,500 emails to and from Holmes, witholding  “approximately 1,100 e-mails because they are educational or  treatment records pursuant to FERPA and health care privileges.” It also withheld about 100 per a request by the Colorado public defender.

The university also released more than 2,000 emails containing the search terms "James Holmes" and "James E. Holmes," witholding about 1,000.

The emails "shed little new light," according to the Associated Press.

Holmes, who had enrolled in the university's PhD program for neuroscience, stands accused of a mass shooting a movie theater in Colorado’s third largest city. Charged with several counts of murder as well as other charges, he is being held without bail.

The prosecution should begin its case at a preliminary hearing in January.


Immediately after the shooting, Arapahoe County District Court Judge William Sylvester issued a gag order that included the university. The university said in July that it was providing all the information it could, but would respect the judge’s orders.

Sylvester lifted that gag order in November, prompting this release to more than a dozen news organizations. However, the university had to limits its release because of privacy laws governing educational, health care and legal records.