‘Words are … inadequate,’ Obama tells families of Colorado shooting victims

Updated 9:54 AM EDT, Tue July 24, 2012

Story highlights

NEW: Thousands gather to pray at a community vigil in Aurora, Colorado

NEW: Aurora mayor: "We will reclaim our city in the name of goodness, kindness"

Obama decries the attack as an "evil act" and pledges the support of the nation

Suspect James Holmes is accused of opening fire Friday in a crowded theater, killing 12

CNN —  

President Barack Obama offered comfort Sunday night to the survivors and the families of the 12 people killed in a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, never once mentioning by name the man accused of opening fire in a crowded movie theater.

“I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment, and will continue to think about them each and every day,” Obama told reporters after the meeting at the University of Colorado Hospital, one of several area medical centers that treated the 58 people wounded in Friday’s attack.

Though much attention has been paid to the “perpetrator of this evil act,” that spotlight will fade, leaving behind just the good memories of those impacted by the tragedy, Obama said.

Focusing on the victims, not the suspect

James Holmes, 24, is being held in connection with the shootings early Friday morning and the subsequent discovery of his booby-trapped apartment, which the authorities believe he rigged before leaving for the Century Aurora 16 multiplex. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.

Obama recounted stories told to him by the victims’ families and those recovering from injuries.