The Colorado shooting during "The Dark Knight Rises" midnight screening prompted the President, Warner Bros. studio and celebrities to express their thoughts. As many as 12 dead thus far and at least 38 injured after a 24-year-old man opened fire at a mall multiplex in Aurora on Friday, July 20 morning.
"This morning we woke up to news of a tragedy and reminds us of all the ways we are united as an American family," Barack Obama said during a campaign tour in Ft. Myers, Fla. "If there's anything to take away from this tragedy, life is fragile, time here is limited and precious. What matters at the end of the day is not the small things, trivial things...Ultimately it is how we choose to treat one another and love one another."
Obama vowed to seek justice for the victims and their families. "The federal government will do whatever is necessary to bring this heinous crime to justice. We will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all of our people. We will stand by our neighbors in Colorado," he said.
Aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi was one of the dead victims. Her brother has posted an account of what happened inside the theater, hearing it first hand from Jessica's friend Brent Lowak who was injured but had survived the attack.
"Jessica and Brent were seated in the middle portion of the theatre when a device was thrown into the theatre that produced a 'hissing' sound. The theatre than began to fill with smoke which is when patrons began to move from their seats. At that time, shots were fired. Brent and Jessica immediately dropped to a prone position for cover. Jessica advised multiple times for someone to call 911, which Brent immediately attempted to do," Jason Ghawi wrote in his blog.
"Brent then heard Jessica scream and noticed that she was struck by a round in the leg. Brent, began holding pressure on the wound and attempted to calm Jessica. It was at this time that Brent took a round to his lower extremities. While still administering first aid, Brent noticed that Jessica was no longer screaming."
"He advised that he looked over to Jessica and saw what appeared to be an entry wound to her head. He further stated that Jessica presented with agonal respirations. Brent then took what may have been his only chance to escape the line of fire and exited the structure where he then contacted my mother. Brent's actions are nothing but heroic."
A Pentagon spokesman said many of the dead victims were members of the military. The suspect was arrested in a parking lot behind the multiplex and is identified as former medical student James Holmes from San Diego. "He did not resist. He did not put up a fight," police spokesman Frank Fania said. FBI is investigating.
Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, released a statement in the wake of the tragedy. "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time," they said.
Meanwhile, celebrities have each reacted differently to the massacre. "My heart goes out to all the people affected in the Aurora, CO shooting. May God be with that town and their families," Eva Longoria tweeted. Whoopi Goldberg wrote, "We Gotta stop looking for reasons here there is no reason only irrational acts by irrational people. All we can do is try 2 bring comfort."
Ryan Seacrest wrote, "Thinking about the families who were affected by this horrible incident in Colorado. My thoughts and prayers are with you all." Dominic Monaghan wrote, "I wonder if USA will have an open conversation about gun law after this tragic day in Aurora? Very sad."