DENVER (AP) — Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes' behavior during interviews raised concerns at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which rejected him from its neuroscience program despite describing him as an excellent candidate.
The school on Thursday released Holmes' application, which included interview review forms filled out by those who met with Holmes when he visited the school in February 2011.
Professors noted Holmes was a "top notch" student but shy. One professor doubted whether he wanted Holmes in his lab, noting that "he may be extremely smart, but difficult to engage."
Holmes later enrolled as a first-year Ph.D. student in a neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Denver. He withdrew about six weeks before the July 20 attack in Aurora, where prosecutors say the 24-year-old opened fire during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.
The University of Iowa also rejected Holmes. According to university records released last week, Holmes was interviewed, but neuroscience program director Daniel Tranel wrote a strongly worded email two days later urging the admissions committee not to accept Holmes to the school.
"James Holmes: Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances," wrote Tranel, a professor of neurology.
Psychology professor Mark Blumberg followed up with a separate email two days later to say he agreed with Tranel about Holmes, one of three students Blumberg interviewed. "Don't admit," he wrote about Holmes. Blumberg recommended admission for the other two.
Neither official elaborated on their reasoning in the emails.