A gunman opened fire on moviegoers attending a midnight showing of the latest installment of “The Dark Knight” trilogy in Aurora, Colorado; killing at least 12 (KCNC is reporting that a 13th victim has died, this is still otherwise unconfirmed) and injuring dozens more (59 injured, including a three-month-old that has already been treated and released from the hospital). The suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, entered the Century 16 theater through an emergency exit at Aurora Mall, threw a gas canister, and opened fire. At this time there is no word on motive.
President Obama was at a campaign stop in Fort Myers, Florida and had this to say of the shooting:
I know many of you came here today for a campaign event. I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters that we face as a country and the differences between myself and my opponent in this election.
But this morning we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family. By now many of you know – many of you have heard that a few miles outside of Denver, in a town called Aurora, at least 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater, and dozens more are being treated for injuries at a local hospital. Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital.
Now, we’re still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora, but what we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody, and the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice. And – we will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all of our people.
We’re going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time. And I had a chance to speak with the mayor of Aurora as well as the governor of Colorado to express, not just on behalf of Michelle and myself, but the entire American family, how heartbroken we are.
Now, even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living. The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers, they were husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.
And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious.
We’ll be following the story as it develops.
Mitt Romney was at a campaign event in Bow, NH and had this to say of the shootings:
Our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy. Ann and I join the President and First Lady and all Americans in offering our deepest condolences for those whose lives were shattered in a few moments, a few moments of evil in Colorado. I stand before you today not as a man running for office but as a father and grandfather, a husband and American. This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another and how much we love and how much we care for our great country. There is so much love and goodness in the heart of America. In the coming days we’ll surely learn more about the lives that have been lost and the families that have been harmed by this hateful act.