Did Uni miss killer danger signals?
A university psychiatrist was so alarmed by cinema massacre suspect James Holmes' behaviour that she tried to bring him to the attention of the school's threat assessment team, reports said.
Dr Lynne Fenton voiced alarm more than a month before the deadly attack in Aurora, Colorado, but the group never met to talk about Holmes because he had already taken steps to drop out, A Denver TV station said.
Holmes, 24, is charged with murdering 12 people and wounding 58 in the July 20 rampage at a midnight premiere of the new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, near the Aurora campus, after methodically stockpiling guns and ammunition for months.
In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy five years ago - the deadliest shooting in American history - the University of Colorado and other schools across the US created threat assessment teams to identify and take action against students who might turn violent.
Now, in the aftermath of the rampage in Aurora, some are wondering whether the system broke down.
"If the argument is because he was no longer a student, he was no longer their problem, they are absolutely incorrect," said Larry Barton, a threat consultant and professor at American College in Pennsylvania.
"Any court and any victim's family would have an argument that the school acted with indifference. I hope they have a very compelling answer to why they did what they did."
University chancellor Don Elliman has repeatedly said the school did all it could with regard to Holmes. He and other university officials have refused to discuss any specifics, citing privacy laws and a judge's gag order.
The university would not say whether staff members had any concerns about Holmes or whether police were ever alerted to him.
However, KMGH-TV and the Denver Post, citing unidentified sources, said police were never contacted.
It's not clear what alarmed Dr Fenton, or whether she even treated Holmes. But she helped found the school's Behavioural Evaluation and Threat Assessment Team in 2010.
The team's members are drawn from the counselling centre, the faculty, the housing and student services departments and campus police. It consults with police, the university's legal team and mental health services.
It does not have the power itself to suspend or expel students or to force anyone to get mental health care. But it can refer students for voluntary care or school discipline and report threats to the authorities, the university said.
The idea of such teams is to bring all the warning signs together in one place.
"The end goal is to have co-ordinating systems, that different departments talk to each other," said Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Centre for Security on Campus, which helps colleges and universities deal with security.
"People might act differently or say something during class, at a club or in a dormitory that might disclose different behaviours. It might not raise a concern when something's taken individually, but when you put them all together, they raise red flags."
Virginia passed a law in 2008 requiring its four-year public colleges to set up threat assessment teams to investigate students after a mentally unstable Seung-Hui Cho shot dead 32 people and committed suicide at Virginia Tech. The student had been sending out warning signs for years with his sullen behaviour and twisted, violent writings.
Even if the Colorado team had convened and police investigated, it is unclear whether any violence could have been prevented.
In December, Morgan State University police and counsellors in Baltimore evaluated student Alex Kinyua following an outburst in a computer lab and concluded he posed no threat. Months later he was charged with murdering a man and eating his heart and brain.
In Arizona, Pima Community College student Jared Loughner had several run-ins with faculty members, students and campus police before he was suspended in 2010. Campus police told him to get a mental health evaluation or not return.
Loughner was later arrested in the 2011 assassination attempt against congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that left six people dead.
For Jennifer Seeger, who was in the Aurora cinema at the time of the shootings and was uninjured, the question was academic.
"I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt," she said.
"Young people say things and they're often misunderstood. She probably deals with a ton of crazy people who say a lot of crazy things. I guess you never know who's the one who's going to pull the trigger. It's really difficult to say."