Image: Accused Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes listens at his arraignment in Centennial
Pool / Reuters file

TODAY   |  April 05, 2013

Aurora shooter threatened psychiatrist, documents say

New court documents released by a Colorado judge show that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes had threatened his psychiatrist and showed other troubling signs well before his shooting spree, raising questions about whether enough was done before he picked up a weapon.

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>>> new information on last summer's deadly shooting at a colorado movie theater . nbc's miguel almaguer is in los angeles this morning. good morning to you.

>> good morning. james holmes ' trial isn't scheduled to begin until february but now we have new information on the shooting because of these new court documents. for some, raising the question, was enough done to stop the accused gunman before a single shot was fired? more than a month before police say james holmes killed 12 and injured 70 inside this colorado movie theater , court documents reveal he threatened and harassed his psychiatrist via e-mail and text messages, five weeks before the shooting, dr. lynn fenton, following legal requirements sent campus police a warning of holmes ' "danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made."

>> psychiatrists and psychologists who are working at universities almost never hear that. they may hear about suicidal thoughts a lot, never homicidal thoughts. i certainly think that a lot of people in the public would have wished that she had done more.

>> reporter: the day dr. fenton warned university of colorado police, holmes ' student i.d. which gave him access to school buildings, was deactivated, but there's no indication campus police ever questioned holmes directly or contacted city police .

>> it just doesn't make any sense for this to be dropped off at the door of campus police and to have it go no further, just doesn't make any sense at all.

>> reporter: court documents also reveal holmes methodically cased the movie theater . weeks before the shooting, the affidavit says holmes took images of the interior and specifically the doorjamb of the century 16 theater.

>> somebody is still shooting inside theater number nine.

>> reporter: after the bloodshed, when police found holmes by his car wearing tactical gear, search warrants showed officers asked him if he had any accomplices. holmes told police, "it is just me." the affidavit also says police found anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs in holmes ' apartment. if convicted he could face the death penalty.

>> miguel almaguer in los angeles ,