Obama to meet families of Colorado shooting victims | News | DW | 22.07.2012
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Obama to meet families of Colorado shooting victims

US President Barack Obama is making a brief visit to Aurora, Colorado, to meet relatives of the victims shot by a gunman in a cinema on Friday.

Obama is to meet families mourning the deaths of their relatives after an apparently delusional gunman went on a rampage in a cinema in the Denver suburb of Aurora. The attack left 12 dead and another 58 injured.

Both Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney interrupted their campaign schedules late last week and halted their television advertising in Colorado out of respect for the victims and their families.

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Obama heading to Colorado to meet families of shooting victims

"We need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation," Obama said on Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

"I think the president coming in is a wonderful gesture," Aurora's mayor, Steve Hogan, said. "He's coming in, really, to have private conversations with the families. I think that's totally appropriate."

The victims died early on Friday when a gunman opened fire during a midnight premiere of the latest Batman film. The suspect, James Holmes, was arrested straight after the incident.

Motive still a mystery

There are still no clues as to the motive, but Colorado governor John Hickenlooper said on NBC's Meet the Press program that the assailant was "a twisted, really delusional individual."

Aurora Police chief Dan Oates said the shooting followed months of "calculation and deliberation," as Holmes allegedly received a "high volume" of deliveries of weaponry to both his work and home.

Police were set to analyze the suspect's computer, which was found inside his apartment. Officers managed to get access to the apartment late on Saturday after clearing sophisticated booby traps rigged up inside, which police believe were intended to kill anyone trying to gain access to the property.

A vigil for the victims is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. local time on Sunday in front of the Aurora City Hall. The event has been organized by civic, community and religious leaders.

ng/tm (AP, AFP)

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