Denver: Hours after a shooting at a theatre in Aurora on the opening night of a Batman movie killed at least 12 people and injured 50, US President Barack Obama paid tribute to the victims of the tragedy.
In a brief comment in Florida where he was scheduled to appear before a campaign event, Obama said: "There are going to be other days for politics...This is a day for prayer and reflection.” He then led the audience in a moment of silence.
Vowing to stand by “our neighbours in Colorado”, the US President said that shooting is a reminder that “we are united as one American family”.
He further called “such violence, such evil” as “senseless”, adding, “We may never understand what leads someone to terrorise their fellow human beings like this.”
Earlier in the day, shocked and saddened by the "horrific" cinema hall shooting in Colorado, Obama vowed to bring to justice the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
"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 (the city where the Cinema hall is located) in this extraordinarily difficult time," Obama said in a statement.
The President, who was notified of the shooting in an Aurora cinema hall by his Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan at 5:26 am local time, is in Palm Beach, Florida, on a two-day election campaign trip.
"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," Obama said.
"All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbours, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come," said the US President.
A 24-year-old white male suspect, who opened fire during the premiere of the latest Batman film `The Dark Knight Rises`, has been taken into custody by the police.
Obama`s Republican rival Mitt Romney also put out a statement Friday "praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief".
The gunman told the police that he had explosives in his apartment, which has now been evacuated.
The FBI has been rushed to the scene and is investigating the incident, apparently to look into the terrorist angle to it.
The entire area has been evacuated.
When the gunman was apprehended, he was at the back of the theatre near the parking lot close to his vehicle, which had a Tennessee license plate, police said.
Police said he apparently used some kind of a tear gas inside the theatre before the shooting.
(With PTI inputs)