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Gunman 'sent package to university'

A US university has said it received a suspicious package but would not confirm the contents or whether the sender was a former student accused of killing 12 people in the Colorado cinema shooting.

The University of Colorado, Denver said that the package was immediately investigated and turned over to authorities within hours of its delivery on Monday.

But Fox News' website reported that shooting suspect James Holmes sent a notebook to the university that sat in the post room unopened since at least July 12, and was not found until Monday.

In the statement, the university disputed that it received the package on July 12 but did not elaborate.

Fox said the notebook contained drawings of stick figures being shot and a written description of an upcoming attack.

The package containing it was addressed to a psychiatrist at the school, the website reported. It was unclear if Holmes, 24, had had any previous contact with the person. The neuroscience graduate programme that he withdrew from on June 10 included professors of psychiatry.

NBC News reported that Holmes told investigators to look for the package and that it described killing people. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies refused to confirm the reports.

The university issued a statement saying it could not confirm the reports or discuss any aspects of the investigation, citing a gag order placed on the case by a judge. It said that packages to the main post room of the Anschutz Medical Campus, where Holmes studied, are not tracked unless the US Postal Service requires a signature upon delivery.

Before the gag order was issued, police said Holmes received more than 50 packages at the school and his home that apparently contained ammunition, combat gear and explosive materials that he used in the attack and to booby-trap his Aurora apartment.

The first memorial service for a victim of the shootings was held for a father who took his teenage children to the new Batman movie and was killed when the gunman opened fire. Gordon Cowden, 51, was the oldest of the 12 people killed in the massacre at the Dark Knight Rises. His teenage children escaped unharmed. Funerals are planned in towns from San Antonio, Texas, home of aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi, to Crystal Lake, Illinois, hometown of Navy intelligence officer John Thomas Larimer. Holmes is due in court next Monday, when he will hear the charges against him.

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