Police sources say Aurora mass killer James Holmes, sent a notebook filled with details of his plan to shoot and kill people to his university psychiatrist before the massacre. But the package sat unopened in the campus mailroom until after the shooting.
Fox News reports that according to law enforcement sources, "Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people. There were drawings of what he was going to do in it -- drawings and illustrations of the massacre."
The spiral-bound notebook contained stick drawings of persons wielding guns and shooting away at other stick figures.
According to the NY Daily News, Holmes mailed the package to the university psychiatrist before Friday’s attack. It was received at the campus mailroom eight days before the shooting. But the package remained unopened until three days after the shooting.
The revelation leads to the uncomfortable conclusion that the shooting could have been prevented had the package been opened and the police informed.
The Daily Mail reports the parcel was found after the FBI and the police were called to the University of Colorado's Anschutz campus in Aurora on Monday morning. The psychiatrist and professor at the school reported he received a package he believed was from Holmes, but the suspected package turned out to be from another person. Police, however, searched the campus mail room and found the notebook.
It is uncertain that the psychiatrist had any previous contact with Holmes. Holmes, who dropped out from the school’s neuroscience doctoral program just before the shooting, had taken a number of mental health courses at the university.
Although detectives are yet to establish a definite motive for the crime, it is known that Holmes bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle hours after he failed an oral examination that was part of his PhD program.
According to The Telegraph, pyschologist Marisa Randazzo said failure in his academic program could have triggered latent psychiatric trouble. Randazzo said: "All of those things could actually make dormant schizophrenia come out, and come out relatively quickly."
The Daily Mail reports experts also say that pressure to match his brilliant father's academic achievements could have contributed to triggering a psychiatric episode.
James Holmes's father, Robert Holmes, 61, has degrees from Stanford, UCLA and Berkeley, and is currently a senior scientist at FICO in San Diego.
Police say Holmes planned the attack very carefully over a period of time. He acquired an arsenal of automatic rifles and handguns, including 6,000 rounds of ammunition, months in advance of the attack. According to The Telegraph, he is believed to have bought the weapons with money he received from a prestigious government education grant of $26,000 annual living allowance.
Century 16 theater was not his original intended target. According to the National Enquirer, initial police investigation showed the gunman had planned to travel to New York City for the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" to shoot the movie star actors, including Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman.
According to police sources Fox News quotes, Holmes first tossed tear gas canisters into the theater and fired a 12-gauge shotgun at the ceiling. As panic spread in the crowded theater and people raced for the exits, he changed his weapon to a .40 Glock pistol and a .223 Smith & Wesson semi-automatic with a high-capacity drum clip. The gun jammed as he fired. This likely prevented more deaths, according Fox News.
Holmes exited the theater after the gun jammed and he was removing his body armor when officers confronted him. According to police sources, he appeared surprised that the police arrived so soon.