DENVER – The Colorado theater shooting suspect left a good impression on people he met in his pursuit of a neuroscience career, with a reference describing him as having a “great amount of intellectual and emotional maturity.”

That account comes in a recommendation letter sent to the University of Illinois Neuroscience program as part of James Holmes’ application to the school last year. The names of those who wrote the references letters were blacked out.

The letter and all the university’s documents related to Holmes were provided to The Associated Press on Friday after an open records request. The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill., first obtained the documents.

Letters, his resume and a personal statement written by Holmes paint a picture of a bright student who is committed to pursuing a career as a cognitive neuroscientist.

Holmes declined to attend the highly selective program, and instead attended the University of Colorado, Denver, studying neuroscience until he dropped out in June.

He gave no reason for declining the offer of admission in Illinois, and no reason for dropping out in Colorado.

University of Colorado officials have declined to release Holmes’ records, citing a Colorado judge’s gag order that does not apply to other states.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 in the attack during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. His attorneys say that he is mentally ill.