Please verify

Watch LIVE

President Obama Consoles Victims of Movie Theater Shooting in Aurora, Colorado


"Obama and White House press secretary Jay Carney both made assurances that they would not use Holmes’s name..."

(The Blaze/AP) -- President Barack Obama sought to provide comfort to hurting and grieving families Sunday night, sweeping into Colorado to privately console relatives of the victims gunned down in a movie theater. The massacre left 12 people dead, dozens injured and a nation in stunned sorrow.

Air Force One touched down at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora late Sunday afternoon for the Obama's hastily arranged 2 1/2-hour visit.

A short time later, Obama began his visit with the family members at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, which treated 23 of the people injured in the mass shooting; 10 remain there, seven hurt critically. The hospital is a short drive from the site of the shooting.

A single suspect, James Holmes, is being held without bond on suspicion of multiple counts of first-degree murder after the shooting rampage, which occurred minutes into a premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" early Friday in this suburb outside Denver.

Watch Obama's speech, below:

But Politico reports:

Obama and White House press secretary Jay Carney both made assurances that they would not use Holmes’s name to avoid drawing more attention to the shooter, the brother of aspiring sports reporter Jessica Ghawi said on Twitter. Carney confirmed that he’d agreed not to use the shooter’s name. [Emphasis added]

The shock of the mass shooting brought the presidential campaign to a standstill for the weekend. Obama cut short a political trip to Florida to return to Washington and Romney canceled interviews. Both campaigns pulled ads off the air in Colorado out of respect for the victims.

"This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address, "for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover."

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Sunday during a briefing on Air Force One that the Obama campaign will keep its television ads off the air in Colorado through the whole week.

The president said he privately told the victims that "all of America and much of the world" is thinking about them.

He then told reporters that he came "not as president but as a father and a husband," and that "we can all understand what it would be to have someone taken from us in this fashion."

The task of articulating sorrow and loss has become a familiar one for Obama, according to the Associated Press.

In November 2009, he led mourners at a service for victims of the mass shooting at Texas' Fort Hood after giving a "shout-out" to a member of the crowd.  In January 2011, he spoke at a memorial for the six victims killed in Tucson, Ariz., when a gunman attacked Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she met with constituents.

The following April, when roughly 300 people were killed in a multistate series of tornadoes, Obama flew to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to commiserate with residents whose homes were in ruins. A month later, Obama went to Joplin, Mo., after a monster twister claimed 161 lives. This year, he came back on the storm's anniversary to give a commencement speech at Joplin High School.

Most recent
All Articles