Obama honours shooting victims
President Barack Obama met with friends and family of the Colorado movie theatre shooting victims yesterday as the town of Aurora mourned the 12 who died.
Mr Obama joined local officials and residents in refusing to utter the name of the alleged shooter, James Eagan Holmes.
Police say Mr Holmes (24) was dressed in body armour and toting three guns when he opened fire at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie. Fifty-eight people were injured in the shooting.
Mr Holmes, who was apprehended moments after the massacre, is to make his first court appearance today.
"I refuse to say his name. In my house we're just going to call him Suspect A," Colorado governor John Hickenlooper told a community memorial service at the municipal centre in Aurora, Colorado, a Denver suburb of 325,000 people.
He captured a spirit of defiance in the blue-collar city that saw one of the most innocent of American pastimes turn into a horror show.
Mr Obama met families at the University of Colorado Hospital. In a televised address afterward, he focused on the bravery of a young woman, Stephanie Davies, who saved her friend Allie Young by putting pressure on a gushing neck wound with one hand while calling for help on her mobile phone with the other.
"They assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come," Mr Obama said.
"Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away. And in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy."
Among the thousands of people spread across the lawn at the memorial were two-dozen friends of victim Micayla Medek (23) all clad in bright shades of pink, her favourite colour.
Henry Miranda (23) was sitting with 'Cayla' when she was shot, and declined to talk about the night."Today is not about 'Why?'" Mr Miranda said. "It's about celebrating the love she brought into all of our lives."
Across the city, residents mourned. A dozen crosses with names of the dead now stand on a small hill across the street from the movie theatre. Flowers have been placed in front of all the crosses and a giant teddy bear was placed next to one with the name of the youngest killed, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan.
A sign reading "7/20 gone not forgotten" was surrounded by balloons, flowers, American flags, Air Force hats and flags, and dozens of hand-written notes.