President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, expressed shock and sorrow Friday over the deadly shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Obama pledged federal support to the community and law enforcement efforts in connection with the case.
The White House released a statement from the president early Friday morning. Obama is in Palm Beach, Fla. on the second day of a campaign trip. Spokesman Jay Carney said John Brennan, Obama's chief counter-terrorism advisor, notified the president of the incident at 5:26 a.m. EDT
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"Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time," the president said in the statement. "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. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come."
Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, issued a statement shortly after Obama's, saying he and his wife, Ann, were "deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence."
"We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice," the statement said.
The shooting happened at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora minutes after the 12:05 a.m. premiere showing of the widely anticipated "The Dark Knight Rises." A suspect is in custody. The Denver Post said the suspect is 24 years old.
Police are saying at least 12 people are dead and 50 wounded. Young children are among those injured, officials said.
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