Newly released emails show James Holmes had romantic relationship

James Holmes. Photo released by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Sep. 20, 2012

James Holmes. Photo released by Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Sep. 20, 2012

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Thousands of emails released Wednesday offer some new insight into Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes and the time he spent at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

One mentions a romance he had with a fellow grad student at the school.

They also reveal some of the school’s response after the massacre Holmes is accused of committing that left 12 dead and 58 injured July 20.

3,800 emails were made available after FOX31 Denver and other media organizations made a request to obtain under Colorado’s open records law. The request was for any emails to James Holmes or containing his name.

About 2,200 of the emails were redacted or blank and marked “Privilege – Redacted in Full.” They contain academic or health information that is protected under privacy laws.

Others show a university in full crisis mode.

Nearly seven hours after alleged shooter James Holmes opened fire inside the Century 16 theaters just east of the Town Center of Aurora mall, an email from the statewide campus police network asked all universities to “check their records to see if they have a James Holmes.”

At the University of Colorado seven minutes later, Angie Ribera, director of the neuroscience program writes, “Horrible news. There are several students with the name James Holmes. This one is 24 and lives in north Aurora and makes me wonder if this is the one whom we know.”

Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from the program.

In another email that morning, Ribera acknowledges the suspect is the same James Holmes and she sends the alert. She was worried about the safety of the program’s students and faculty. It results in an evacuation of the buildings on the campus in Aurora where Holmes had access.

One message from a CU professor sent the morning after the shooting indicated Holmes had a short romantic relationship with a graduate student months before the shooting spree.

That email says, “She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now. She knows, and is pretty freaked out.”
Very few of the emails released were from the suspected shooter himself.
Emails written by him seemed business-like and friendly, though. They ended with “Cheers, James Holmes,” or “Thanks for your help.”

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