President Obama, others react to Aurora, CO theater shooting

MANALAPAN, FL - President Barack Obama said Friday he was "shocked and saddened" by a deadly shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater and urged the nation to "come together as one American family" in the aftermath of the tragedy.

His campaign announced Obama was cutting short a two-day Florida swing and returning to the White House.

Obama said in a statement that he and first lady Michelle Obama were shocked by the "horrific and tragic" shooting. Obama said his administration would do everything they can to support the people of Aurora, Colo.

"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," Obama said.

Aides said Obama would address the shooting at a campaign rally in Fort Myers, Florida. But he dropped plans to attend a re-election rally at Rollins College in Winter Park, near Orlando.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a statement that he and his wife, Ann, were "deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence" that led to the loss of life and injuries. He said they were praying for the families and loved ones of the victims "during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice."

A gunman opened fire early Friday at a theater on the opening night of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Authorities say 12 people were killed and 59 others were injured. Police originally said 14 people died in the attack but later revised the death toll.

The FBI said there was no indication that the shooting had any connection to terrorism.

Obama was in Florida at the time of the shooting. The White House says Obama was informed of the shooting by his Homeland Security Adviser, John Brennan.

Obama, along with other officials, reacted to the shooting with the following statements:

"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. 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. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. 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, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come." -- President Barack Obama.

"Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice." -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. And everybody always says, `Isn't it tragic,' and you know, we look for was the guy, as you said, maybe trying to recreate Batman. I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it's just got to stop. And instead of the two people -- President Obama and Gov. Romney -- talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how." -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"As local law enforcement, first responders, and medical professionals work tirelessly in the aftermath, the federal government will be a partner. As families confront this tragedy, the nation and its leaders are praying for them." -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"This senseless massacre of so many innocent people gathered with friends and family in a movie theater reminds us not only of the great evil that exists in the hearts of some, but of the great and precious gift of life." -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

"I am deeply saddened by the terrible shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies continue to respond to this horrific event and I have directed the Department of Homeland Security to provide any support necessary in the ongoing investigation. We are committed to bringing those responsible to justice. Our hearts and prayers go out to anyone impacted by this tragedy, especially the family and friends of those killed or injured." -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"This is not only an act of extreme violence, it is also an act of depravity.

It is beyond the power of words to fully express our sorrow this morning. Our prayers and condolences go first to the families of those killed, and we share the grief of everyone affected by this senseless event. We appreciate the swift work by local, state and federal law enforcement. Coloradans have a remarkable ability to support one another in times of crisis. This one of those times." -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

"This was horrible, senseless and abhorrent act.  My family and I are shocked and deeply saddened this morning and our hearts are with the victims and their families.  My staff and I are in contact with and offering our support to law enforcement and medical officials as they respond to the shooting." -- Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.


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