24 Jul 2012

Obama visits survivors of cinema shooting

5:12 am on 24 July 2012

US President Barack Obama has told victims of the attack at a Batman film screening in Aurora, Colorado, the whole country is thinking of them.

Mr Obama met survivors and families of the dead when he visited the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.

He said he shared hugs and tears but also laughter as the families recounted the lives of their loved ones.

Mr Obama vowed that "out of darkness a brighter day is going to come", the BBC reports.

He said he had visited as much as a father and husband as a president, because everyone understood what it must be like to have someone taken in this fashion.

Nine of the 58 people injured remain in critical condition.

People have been laying flowers at a memorial site near the Century cinema.

Thousands of people also gathered outside City Hall for an emotional vigil for the victims.

Suspected gunman James Holmes, 24, is being held in solitary confinement for his own safety. He is accused of at least 12 counts of first-degree murder.

Mr Obama's visit came a day after police cleared Mr Holmes's flat of explosives that could have killed people entering through the door.

The Arapahoe county coroner has released the names of the dead, saying all the deaths were related to gunshot wounds.

The dead include a six-year-old girl and two US military servicemen.

Both Mr Obama and his Republican Party challenger, Mitt Romney, have curtailed their election campaigns, dropping advertising in Colorado state out of respect for victims and their families.