Obama to meet with families of victims in Colorado
July 21st, 2012
04:55 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama to meet with families of victims in Colorado

(CNN) - President Barack Obama will travel to Colorado Sunday to visit with the families of victims who died in Friday's movie theater shooting, the White House said late Saturday.

Homeland Security adviser John Brennan updated Obama overnight Friday and Saturday regarding developments in the investigation and authorities' efforts to disarm traps which had been set at the suspect's apartment, an administration official told CNN earlier.

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Brennan alerted the president of the shooting shortly before 5:30 a.m. ET on Friday.

Just after 7 a.m. on Friday, Obama issued a statement calling the shooting "horrific and tragic," as well as saying his "administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this difficult time."

Both he and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney modified their campaign plans, and instead each delivered a statement on the shootings.

"Even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this," he said at what was previously planned to have been a campaign event in Fort Meyers, Florida. "Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living."

After the event, Obama "had a brief greeting with supporters including grassroots and some donors who were scheduled to be at the event," a senior campaign official said.

Upon returning to the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said he was to meet in the Oval Office with Brennan, Vice President Joe Biden, FBI Director Robert Muller, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said at a Friday press conference that Obama had called him and the city's mayor.

Both Romney and Obama pulled down their ads in Colorado, as did several groups which are supporting their candidacies.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin, Dan Lothian, and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report

Also see:

- Both parties focus on Colorado shooting in weekly addresses

- Romney calls for unity following Colorado shooting

- Obama, after shooting, tells supporters 'Such evil is senseless'

- Bloomberg demands gun action from Obama and Romney

- Campaigns pull ads after shooting

Filed under: Colorado • President Obama • White House
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Quanieta L Davis

    Sweet Jesus...God bless america <3<3<3

    July 21, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Darryl

    President Obama has been on top of every situation, this massacre, floods, tornodos,hurricans, you name it. What a great President. I hope he is re-elected for his second term, he deserves it.

    July 21, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. enuff

    Let's not get into a political garbage over this tragedy. Remember the victims and their families. This is not about who is best, but how best to start healing.

    July 21, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    Thank goodness Colorado has a DEMOCRATIC Governor so they had enough police, EMTs, nurses, doctors, and counselors to deal with this tragedy. In Republican states, they have fired most of these public servants to give the money for their salaries to corporations. Democrats work for the People and this is why we need more of them in Congress, in local governments, state governments, and need President Obama in the White House. The nation sends its love to Colorado as they work to diffuse this maniac's apartment and the families face such unimagineable grief.

    July 21, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. gwendolyn colburn

    After such a hateful and ungodly act to people who we know for sure didn't do any thing to this person if he should even be called human to give him the feakin right they were people children,sisters,brothers,etc.Now what who's going to come along and clam he was unstable, was'nt responsible for his actions ha!!! who beca

    July 21, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A short court date and a swift execution is the only answer for such a horrific crime which may send a message to anyone else who even wants to think about it. Citizens shouldn't have to pay to take care of this guy one day longer because he didn't give a damn about anyone but himself otherwise he would have committed suicide. His life wasn't so miserable and I don't think he's insane, he's just plain evil.

    July 21, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. Leroy

    And what's Mitt Romney doing this weekend.....relaxing at one of his seaside estates and perhaps working on a speech for "you people"?

    July 21, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. channelcatt

    Were the guns definetly from fast and furious

    July 21, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Poverty seems to be the root cause of "routine" gun crimes and mental illness and terrorism associated with the sensational, mass murders with firearms. We are unlikely to control these root causes of gun violence. Gun ownership is protected IAW the US Supreme Court's ruling on the 2nd Amendment. We already imprison more of our citizens than any modern nation – with no significant impact on gun crime. The relaxing of concealed-carry regulations appears to have no positive nor negative impact on crime – that's a myth created by cherry-picking select locations where crime is on the decline. Ghettos still have crime and crazy people are still crazy. That simply leaves two options – restricting gun ownership (already a part of US law) and limiting capabilities of weapons as related to rate of fire, capacity and lethality. The N.R.A. considers limitations on these capabilities excessive control, but those are the only factors likely to produce at least limited results. Still, before we jump back into the "assault gun" dialogue an important clarification of the 2nd Amendment is required – especially when the term "2nd Amendment solution" is thrown around by right-wing politicians unhappy with America. The US Supreme Court needs to decide if part of our right to own guns is tied to an inherent right to use firearms to overthrow the government of the United States. The right-wing deeply believes this is a right. If they are correct why would we have the right to limit weapons at any level? If our "Tea Party Patriots" are to be on even footing with our Service Members, they should have rockets, mortors, IEDs, landmines, and even cruise missles! So what is it? It sedition, terrorism and treason a right of every American?

    July 21, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    The pain, the sorrow and the lost forces us all to get together, but we should not shun
    from the fact that many were brought down with an outrageous count of bullets from a gun
    Some bullets are still lodged in many victims that will remain there like it’s embedded in cement
    All because someone "legally" bought many guns and bullets exercising rights from the 2nd Amendment

    Let’s not forget about victims that die by the hundreds every day caused by the end of the barrel
    With ILLEGAL guns that NO ONE thinks of and once again an innocent child has met their peril
    No, that child does not get talked about because he/she were not a part of a larger mass
    Guns bought LEGALLY or ILLEGALLY – it should not matter – when they end up with the wrong class

    What if that LEGAL assaults weapon and all of that ammunition was sold to another ILLEGAL hand
    How many “innocent” bodies would unnoticeably fall because no one cares to understand?
    Citizens as young as 6 “innocently” go down because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time
    Is the same as when 12 die in one blow by a LEGAL hand – they’re all victims and it’s still a crime!!!

    Someone has to be brave enough to step up – Congress is good for nothing else so they should begin to make a difference.

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 21, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. Name bullock

    Why presdient obama was refused open fast and furrious also I m belived that obama are fake of his birth certifacte and social secruity.
    Presdient obama would get impeach. That is alright

    July 21, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. helenecha

    Before the theater shooting, if Homeland Security members had received the reports constantly from the gun stores showing that there's a man who had bought 4 guns and more than 6000 rounds of ammunition with him within two months, what would they have done?

    July 21, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. You Heard it worst on CNN

    Now Obama will have more reason to ramp up the patriot act even further. Say good bye to gun rights and hello to surveillance cameras in our homes, wire taps on all our phones, TSA in our schools, on our highways and now even at the movie theater. We can expect a whole new round of executive orders from this. If even one of those people in that theater had a conceal and carry licence and was actively using it at the time of the shooting, the perp might have not been able to murder so many if any at all. Instead the demwits will use this to further dismantle our civil liberties and convince all the sheeple it is for their own good.

    July 21, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  14. SCC

    Unlike Romney supporters I am happy that Pres. Obama will visit the families of the victims of this horrific crime.
    Of course they are saying this is an political move.
    If the pres. did not go the GOP would be criticizing him. The president is damn if he does and damn if he doesnot

    July 21, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  15. builder7

    When they want to cut the defense spending that is over $1.1 Trillion and they call it 'draconian', they have lost their mind. It is like telling the worlds richest organization that they will be losing their bubble gum machines. How much defense do we need? The entire country is going broke, we are not in a war (a real one), and they waste more money in a minute then I make in an entire lifetime. People need to come down to earth and quit backing the sponging off the U.S. taxpayer by contractors and others who see our defense budget, health budget, and other parts of the U.S. budget as a cash cow. The experiment of having contractors doing everything that the services used to do has not worked, and we need to go back to that model, which is like the rest of the worlds!

    July 22, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  16. Jerry

    Does Mr. Obama really, really care?! I believe that for him it's just politics as usual and to distance himself from his record non-record.

    On the other hand, I really, really "HOPE" I am WRONG!!!

    July 22, 2012 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  17. Gurgyl

    "Very sensible president in modern history". Yes, on Obama12.

    July 22, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  18. earl

    Looks to me that gun control works. Thee only person with a gun was the criminal. Good job congress. If one victim had a gun...even illegally...thiis could be a different a story. Then the hero would be charged with a gun charge and sued by the criminal for attempted murder.

    July 22, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. luckjoe

    Photo oportunity for Obama, plain and simple.

    July 22, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. T'sah From Virginia

    Does Mr. Obama really, really care?! I believe that for him it's just politics as usual and to distance himself from his record non-record.
    On the other hand, I really, really "HOPE" I am WRONG!!!◄

    YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!! You now bring up the question as to whether or not YOU care!!!

    I cannot go to a store and buy more than a certain count of Sudafed without being bounced out of the computer and told I cannot buy anymore because I bought too many bottle in a given period of time. Why couldn't the same be done to stop this murderer when he was ordering too many guns – too much ammunition – tear gas and body gear that would have kept him alive while he murdered others – why wasn’t there a knock on his door just to check on what he was doing or figure out what he is up to? Maybe that 6 year old child and 11 others would now be alive. Laws are placed on some things but the lawmakers are afraid of certain organizations to go further

    This is not difficult – Get it together lawmakers and for once, make a difference!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 22, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Larry L


    Looks to me that gun control works. Thee only person with a gun was the criminal. Good job congress. If one victim had a gun...even illegally...thiis could be a different a story. Then the hero would be charged with a gun charge and sued by the criminal for attempted murder.
    From your comment it appears birth control failed. Assume the world was "perfect" in the eyes of the N.R.A. and fifty people in the theater had concealed-carry permits and handguns. As the gunman opened fire in a darkened, smoke filled theater, the untrained and often unskilled personnel would draw their handguns and try to acquire a target. Fifty strangers would be holding a weapon and in short time, firing at each other out of fear and confusion. That would help how?

    July 22, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. scott

    Good politics to try and get reelected, their is no sincerity or compassion there,he has none

    July 22, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. 1twinsfan

    In this instance, it doesn't matter who is the President. Anyone holding that office should go to Colorado.And any opponent should not as it would only be political.

    July 22, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    the Obama -haters try to sting the president calling it a "photo-op" when he goes to Colorado. Then if he didn't go they would decry him as being uncaring. So just face facts, no matter WHAT this man does they will be critical so that's just the sour grapes built up in them. He went to Joplin, Tuscon, the Gulf Coast, the fires and where certain floods happened so why should he not go to Aurora.

    July 22, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Gurgyl

    Mitt Robme is a plain FRAUD.

    July 22, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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