President Barack Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama were “shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting” early this morning at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
At least 12 people were killed and 50 injured when a gunman opened fire during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” police said. A suspect is in custody, police said.
The president is to speak on the tragedy at a campaign event today in Fort Myers, Florida, at 11:20 a.m., campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. The president canceled a second event planned in Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando, later today and will return to Washington, his Chicago campaign headquarters said in a statement.
“Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time,” the president said in a statement issued by the White House.
Obama spent the night in Florida for campaign events and was notified at 5:26 a.m. about the shooting, press secretary Jay Carney said.
“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family,” Obama said in the statement. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he and his wife, Ann, “are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence” in the Denver suburb.
“We are praying for the families and loved ones,” he said in a statement from Boston. “We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”