James Holmes: Police investigate Holmes' deliveries
The university declined to release any details of his academic record, citing privacy concerns, and at least two dozen professors and other staff declined to speak with the AP. Some said they were instructed not to talk publicly about Holmes in a blanket email sent to university employees.
Jacque Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the University of Colorado medical school, said that police have told the school to not talk about Holmes.
The university also took down the website for its graduate neuroscience program on Saturday.
Dan Keeney, president of DPK Public Relations in Dallas, said asking for silence from university employees because of a police investigation was appropriate, but taking down the website was "indefensible" for a publicly funded university unless the school believed it contained inaccurate information relating to the suspect.
"It's an indefensible action," he said. "It's disappointing to hear that they would take that action because it suggests that it's not in the public's interest to have access to that information and I think it is in the public's interest."
The school took down the neuroscience department's site at the request of faculty and staff who had privacy concerns, Montgomery said.
The University of Colorado also disclosed it was cooperating with police who were looking into whether Holmes used his position as a graduate student to order materials in the potentially deadly booby traps that police said they found in his apartment.
The apartment was booby trapped with jars of liquids, explosives and chemicals that could have killed "whoever entered it," Oates said, noting it would have likely been one of his officers.
Investigators spent hours removing the explosive materials Saturday.
Among the dead was a 6-year-old girl and a man who died on his 27th birthday and a day before his wedding anniversary. Families grieved and waited at hospitals, with police reporting 11 people still in critical condition as of Saturday.
While authorities continued to refuse to discuss a possible motive for one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history, details about Holmes' background as a student and would-be scientist trickled out.
He had recently withdrawn from the competitive graduate program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver, where he was one of six pre-thesis Ph.D. students at its Neuroscience Program to be funded by a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health. The program of 35 students is dedicated to training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology, the university said in a statement.
In the first year of the five- to seven-year program, students take classes and complete three, three-month research rotations in the labs of different professors.
Professors who worked with him either did not return calls or declined to comment, saying police and university officials had told them not to speak to the media.
At one point in the year, Holmes was engaged in research about RNA and was to present a paper May 8 about RNA Biomarkers, according to a class schedule. It was unclear if he presented the paper.
Holmes recently took an intense, three-part oral exam that marks the end of the first year. Those who do well continue with their studies and shift to full-time research, while those who don't do well meet with advisers and discuss their options, including retaking the exam.
University officials would not say if he passed, citing privacy concerns.
The university said Holmes gave no reason for his withdrawal, a decision he made in June.
Holmes was not allowed access from the institution after his withdrawal, which was "standard operating procedure" because he was no longer affiliated with the school, Montgomery said. Holmes had no contact with university police, she said.
A resume posted on Monster.com paints a picture of a brilliant young man brimming with potential: He worked as a summer intern at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla in 2006 and mapped the neurons of Zebra finches and studied the flight muscles of hummingbirds while an undergraduate at the University of California, Riverside.
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