The President s also scheduled to speak with local officials and to attend a memorial service in the city, the White House announced.
“This weekend, I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection – for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover,” Obama devoted his weekly radio address to the tragedy.
He continued: “And for all the victims of the less-publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis.”
Obama’s visit comes after canceling two campaign events in Florida Friday, following the news about the shooting, CBS News writes.
“There are going to be other days for politics,” Mr. Obama said in Ft. Myers, Florida, before cutting short his campaign stop. “This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.”
He said in his weekly address to the nation Saturday: “The federal government stands ready to do everything necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”
The President continued: “We will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all our people. And we will stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.”
Soon after that he spoke about the tragedy for the second time, paying tribute to the 12 people who lost their lives in an address strikingly similar to Friday’s. President Obama said the tragedy forced him to reflect on his own family.
“I’m sure many of you who are parents had the same reaction I did when you first heard this news: what if it had been my daughters at the theater, doing what young children enjoy doing every day?” he said.
Obama went on, adding that he and the First Lady will “hug our girls a little tighter this weekend, as I’m sure you will do with your children.”
“But for those parents who may not be so fortunate,” he said, “we need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.”
The local police have already released the names of the 12 people killed, including those of a six-year-old girl and a man celebrating his 27th birthday.
Officials also revealed that 58 other people were injured in the theatre shooting. On Saturday night, 26 remained hospitalized, nine in critical condition.
On Friday, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila celebrated Mass for the victims of the shooting. “Blessed are those who mourn,” the Archbishop said in his homily.
“For they will be comforted. The heart of our Father is stronger than the bullets that killed 12 people,” he added.
Catholic Charities of Denver voiced his condolences, “We invite the community to join us in ongoing and fervent prayer as we seek to serve those who were wounded – physically, emotionally and spiritually – by this evil act.”
Pope Benedict expressed dismay and sadness at the shooting in Rome in Sunday. “I was deeply shocked by the senseless violence which took place in Aurora, Denver,” he said in his regular Sunday Angelus address.
“I share the distress of the families and friends of the victims and the injured, especially the children,” he added, Reuters writes.