Obama Cancels Campaign Event After Colorado Theater Shooting
President calls for a day of pray and reflection for families of slain moviegoers
President Barack Obama cut short his campaign stop in Ft. Myers, Fla. on Friday morning, in the wake of the tragic mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater.
The president called for a day of "prayer and reflection" for the families of at least 12 killed and dozens of injured at the Century 16 Theater at the Aurora Mall outside of Denver. Moviegoers were their to see midnight screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises," the latest film in the Batman franchise.
"This morning we woke up to news of tragedy that reminds us all of the ways we're united as an American family," Obama said to a convention center full of excited supporters. The president also led a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting.
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While it is unclear what motivated the shooter to "terrorize" the theater, Obama said it is clear what made life worth living for the victims in Colorado.
"They were mothers and fathers," Obama said. "Sisters and brothers. Friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and dreams not yet fulfilled. Our time here is limited and it is precious. It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning."
The president also spoke directly to the parents who might have lost a child in the tragedy:
"I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation."
The president, who was returning to the White House after the short stop in Fort Myers, offered Colorado authorities all the necessary help from federal government resources.