Obama 'shocked' by cinema shooting

2012-07-20 14:02

Washington - US President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" by the mass shooting at a Denver-area cinema early on Friday in which at least 14 people were killed and 50 wounded.

"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado," he said in a statement, adding that federal and local law enforcement were still responding to the incident.

"My administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time," he said, referring to the city adjacent to Denver where the shooting took place.

"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 was notified of the mass shooting at 05:26 by his homeland security advisor John Brennan, according to White House spokesperson Jay Carney. The president is currently in Palm Beach, Florida.

3-month-old victim

Witnesses had described a scene of chaos as the gunman burst into a packed showing of The Dark Knight Rises, the latest Batman film, setting off a smoke device of some kind and spraying the theatre with bullets.

The youngest victim is reportedly a 3-month-old baby.

Chris Jones, who was in the theatre, said the shooting began about 20 to 30 minutes into the screening.

"People just started dropping. We were on the floor trying not to get shot," Jones told the local KMGH-TV television station.

"I thought it was just fireworks. There was smoke, then I heard 'bam, bam, bam'. The gunman didn't have to stop to reload. Shots just kept coming, kept coming, kept coming."

Police have detained the alleged gunman, who is said to be 24-years-old, but have released few details about his identity or motives.

9news reported that the suspect, after being captured by police, told authorities he had explosive materials in his apartment.

According to the Colorado-based station said police went to his apartment building at East 17th Avenue and Peoria Street in Aurora and evacuated the building immediately as a precautionary measure.

Police are searching his apartment to confirm that claim, it said.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • thuphac.mokoena - 2012-07-20 14:18

    These mad Americans with their big, sophisticated gun. This happens so often where are the laws to curtail it?

      philemon.ndlovu.5 - 2012-07-20 14:41

      The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

      michael.i.wright - 2012-07-20 14:44

      South Africa has much stricter controls. How's that working out for you?

      John - 2012-07-20 14:54

      We could all live in plastic bubbles. After banning guns they could ban alcohol. Think of all the lives lost to foolish behavior while drink. Then we could save even more lives by banning tanning beds and forcing people to apply sunscreen lotion.

      triumphant.voice.58 - 2012-07-20 15:26

      You wonder though where was security and how do you get both an incendary device and a semi or fully automatic weapon into a public facility - more like failed secuirty measures on site than problems with the Gun Legisaltion.

      Practice - 2012-07-20 15:42

      ban psychopaths

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-20 16:33

      It's in their constitution; right to bear arms and all. And here, where most guns are are in the hands of criminals, it's so much better then? In the US at least the murderers don't have more rights than the victims, like here in SA. There if you shoot and kill the cockroaches who break into your house, try to rape your wife of children, you get a pat on the back for rendering a service to society. Makes them think twice to rape. Here you get arrested for murder, for protecting your family. And in well over half of the states they can at least terminate the vermin for murder. Here they get out within a dozen years, to do it again. Who's mad now?

  • Pagel - 2012-07-20 14:24

    What the heck is wrong with this world we live in :-(.

  • james.rossouw - 2012-07-20 14:28

    "O" shocked..... Chicongo{his Hood} mainly South side the score 27 june was 250 dead.

      wesleywt - 2012-07-20 16:50

      Yep. You must be part of the Blame Barry Brigade.

      james.rossouw - 2012-07-20 18:04

      The down thumbs idiots, denial is your slogan.Trying to refute facts is stupid.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 14:38

    I am shocked that he is shocked!

  • triumphant.voice.58 - 2012-07-20 15:29

    Americans have problems with reality vs fantasy. The "Gunman" most likely thought he was one of the Joker's henchman, and this was how they planned to draw The Bat Man out for a full on confrontation in the streets of Colarado! Shame poor man, he would have got more out of it if he had just watched the movie like a normal person!

  • christina.setloboko - 2012-07-20 15:58

    condolences to the families affected, may the Lord gives you strength in this trying times, and may HE heal your pain.AmeN

  • phosa.peter2 - 2012-07-20 16:01

    Come on Guyz! Blame it on ANC, you are obsessed on bad-mouthing the ruling party with every evil deeds around the now, we are waiting your IQ units.

  • sean.kedian - 2012-07-20 16:23

    Damn! And where is Batman when you need him?!?

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