President Barack Obama cancelled the rest of his campaign activities in Florida after hearing the news about the shooting incident that killed 12 people, and injured 50 others during a movie screening of the Dark Knight Rises, at Century 16 movie Theater in Aurora, Colorado around 12:30 AM, Friday.
According to President Obama, he was “shocked and saddened” by the Batman tragedy, and his administration would do everything to support the people of Aurora. The President said, “As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors.”
President Obama went back to the White House, and decided not to attend his campaign rally at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
On the other hand, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney issued a statement regarding the shooting. According to him, he and his wife were “deeply saddened by the news of senseless violence.” He said that they were praying for families and loved ones of the victims. They also expect the perpetrator of the shooting will be brought to justice immediately.
The Colorado police arrested the suspect in the shooting, named James Holmes, 24-years old. According to the police, Holmes surrendered without resisting arrest. Aurora police chief Dan Oates said there was no evidence of more than one shooter. According to him, Holmes is a resident of Aurora. He wore a gas mask and was armed with a rifle and handgun during the shooting. He doesn’t have a prior criminal record. His sole violation with law enforcement was a traffic ticket in 2011.
According to witnesses, Holmes entered the theater through an emergency exit door, threw a gas canister, and started shooting. Police, ambulances, and emergency crew immediately responded to the scene after receiving 911 calls. Federal Law Enforcement authorities said that the attack is not related to terrorism.
Meanwhile, Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK), owner of the theater where the shooting took place also expressed sympathy to the families and loved ones of the victims. In a statement, the company said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community. We are grateful for the quick and professional reaction of all local law enforcement and emergency responders. Cinemark is working closely with the Aurora Police Department and local law enforcement.”