The man accused of opening fire during a midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” had been part of a graduate program that focuses specifically on how the nervous system processes information and accepts just five or six students each year, school authorities said Monday.James Holmes was one of about 35 students in the highly selective program, UC-Denver Graduate School Dean Barry Shur said in a news conference livestreamed by Reuters.
School administrators steadfastly refused to speak specifically about Holmes but did say that he had effectively withdrawn from the program prior to the shooting at the Aurora, Colo., movie theatre.
“It’s very unusual, very unusual, for a student to withdraw from the program,” Shur said.
The neuroscience graduate program to which Holmes belonged recruited from a “highly competitive pool” of applicants, many of whom boast perfect or near-perfect grade point averages.
“You need a 150 per cent commitment to your studies,” Holmes said of the rigorous program.
By now, we know that Holmes had received a prestigious neuroscience training grant from the National Institutes of Health.
When asked about the specifics of that grant, Shur said disbursement of grant funds is strictly regimented.
Administrators were hounded with questions about two packages received at the school, one of which was sent specifically to building 500 and the other to the general mail room. However, administrators said they had no information about the packages, which are part of law enforcement’s ongoing investigation into Holmes’ life.
Holmes received at least 50 packages to his apartment and or at school in the months leading up to the shooting, causing speculation he had weapons or other dangerous equipment delivered to him at school, the Associated Press reported.
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