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Colorado: Obama prays for victims of shootings

by
26 July 2012

By a Staff Reporter

AP

Growing memorial: a line of crosses stand opposite the cinema in Aurora

Growing memorial: a line of crosses stand opposite the cinema in Aurora

PRESIDENT Barack Obama quoted from the book of Revelation as he met families of the dead and injured after the shootings in Colorado at a showing of the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.

Visiting within 48 hours of the shootings, President Obama said: "Scripture says that 'He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.'"

He told grieving families that he came to spend time with them not as a president, but as a father and husband.

He visited each family who had lost someone, as well as those who were injured. Twelve people died - the youngest a six-year- old girl - and 58 were injured, when the late-night audience in Aurora was attacked with tear gas and bullets.

The man accused of the shootings, James Holmes, aged 24, appeared in court on Monday, with dyed red hair. It is said by police that he referred to himself as the Batman villain, "the Joker".

A prayer vigil was held on Sunday evening in Aurora, and prayers were said in churches across the country for the victims. A statement posted on the website of St John's Cathedral in the state capital, Denver, said: "This shooting is a terrible tragedy, and it is a great loss that senseless killing has become a part of our national life in recent decades."

It is not the first time that mass shootings have happened in this US state. In 1999, at a high school in Columbine, 17 miles away from Aurora, two students killed two classmates and one teacher, and wounded another 21 students, before taking their own lives.

The Bishop of Colorado, the Rt Revd Robert O'Neill, sent a pastoral letter to be read in all churches on the Sunday after the cinema shootings. He said that churches had responded immediately, opening their doors and ministering to those who needed to talk and grieve.

President Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, also quoted scripture in a speech hours after the killings - although there are suggestions that his precise reference was to The Book of Mormon.

He said: "We can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffer- ing or heavy-laden. And we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado."

 

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