Aurora: US President Barack Obama on Sunday visited Colorado and met the victims of the Friday shooting at a Denver-area movie theater, calling it an `evil act`.
"I come to them not so much as President as I do as a father and as a husband," Obama said.
Twelve people were killed and 58 injured as a gunman went on a rampage early Friday during the premiere screening of ‘Dark Knight Rises’, the latest of the Batman series.
Obama held private talks with the families of victims, and later said that he was told stories about those who died in the incident and those who risked their lives to save others.
"They assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come," Obama said at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, recounting the story of a young woman who stopped the bleeding of her wounded friend with one hand and called for help on her cell phone with the other, reported a news agency.
After justice was done, memory would focus on the victims, not the killer, the President said.
Obama said in a televised address after meeting the families that he told them that the nation was watching and shared their grief. He spoke shortly before a memorial service by the community.
"The entire country will be there in prayer and reflection today," he said.
A makeshift memorial sprang up in the town of 325,000, while across the nation on Sunday, people mourned the dead, honoured those who shielded others from harm and debated whether gun control could stop such tragedies.
The gunman, identified by police as graduate school dropout James Eagan Holmes, carried an assault rifle, shotgun and handgun into a packed midnight premiere of the Batman film ‘Dark Knight Rises’ on Friday morning.
His spray of bullets took the lives of victims ranging from a 6-year-old girl to a 51-year-old man. Many of the wounded are still in the hospital.
(With Agency inputs)