Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Psychiatrist sued over US cinema attack

17 January 2013, 08:35

Los Angeles -The widow of a victim of the US theatre massacre is suing a psychiatrist for neglect, for failing to have the alleged shooter arrested despite him having "fantasised about killing a lot of people".

The lawsuit, also citing the University of Colorado, alleges that Dr Lynne Fenton advised campus police about her concern regarding James Holmes, after he told her about the fantasy in June last year.

They offered to apprehend him for psychiatric assessment, but she declined, and he went on to open fire on a Colorado movie theatre weeks later on 20 July, killing 12 people and injuring at least 58.

Holmes, a neuroscience doctoral student in the process of leaving the colleague, told Fenton "on June 11, 2012, that he fantasised about killing a lot of people", said the lawsuit.

'Reasonable care'

Fenton "knew that James Holmes was dangerous" and "had a duty to use reasonable care to protect the public at large from James Holmes", said the document, filed by Chantel Blunk, whose husband Jonathan died in the shooting.

"Defendant Fenton was presented with the opportunity to use such reasonable care when the Colorado University Police offered to apprehend James Holmes on a psychiatric hold," it said.

But it alleged that Fenton alleged "rejected the idea" and therefore "breached her duty to use reasonable care".

Holmes, now 25, was ordered last week to stand trial over the massacre, one of the worst ever mass shootings in modern US history, which revived America's perennial debate over gun control.

In a statement responding to the lawsuit, filed on Monday, the University of Colorado Denver said it "has great sympathy for the victims of the Aurora theatre shooting and their families.

"But in our initial review of this case, the University believes this lawsuit is not well-founded legally or factually," it added.

On Wednesday President Barack Obama called for the revival of an assault weapons ban and universal background checks for gun buyers, in the wake of last month's Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

Obama signed 23 executive actions, using his presidential power in a swift effort to check a rash of gun violence including the killings of 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...