President Barack Obama will travel to Aurora, Colorado, today to meet with the families of victims in a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
Obama, who has pledged federal help in the investigation, also will meet with local officials in the Denver suburb, the White House said in a statement. There are no public events listed on the president’s official schedule.
In his weekly radio address yesterday, Obama urged Americans to take time “for prayer and reflection - for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of the less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis.”
The shooting occurred July 20 during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. It was the worst such incident in the U.S. since 13 soldiers and civilians were killed and 43 wounded when a gunman opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
A suspect, identified by police as James Holmes, 24, was arrested after the attack at a shopping mall in the Denver suburb. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow morning.
The president was previously scheduled to address a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention tomorrow at the start of a three-day trip that also included campaigning and fundraising. From Aurora, Obama will fly to San Francisco to spend the night.
Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suspended their political campaigns in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and pulled their ads in Colorado.
On the day of the shooting, both men paid tribute to the victims and called for reflection on the important things in life.
“If there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is very fragile,” Obama said in Florida. “Our time here is limited and it is precious.”
Romney, speaking in New Hampshire, said he and his wife, Ann, joined the president and first lady in offering “our deepest condolences for those whose lives were shattered in a few moments of evil in Colorado.”
He said this is a “moment to grieve” and to “remember how much we love one another, and how much we love and how much we care for our great country.”