Colorado Shooting: Obama Honors Victims, Tells Moving Story of Survivors

President Barack Obama met families and friends of victims suffered in the theatre shooting on Sunday as the town of Aurora mourned the 12 who died.

Barack Obama, as well as local officials and residents, avoided uttering the name of the alleged shooter, James Eagan Holmes. Photo: The White House/Flickr

Holmes, who opened fire at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie and was later apprehended, is to make his first court appearance on Monday.

“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 center in Aurora, Colorado, a Denver suburb of 325,000 people, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Obama met with families of victims at the University of Colorado Hospital. He paid attention 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 cellphone with the other.

According to Obama, Young and her best friend were sitting not far from the place where suspected gunman threw gas canisters during a midnight screening Friday of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Young, sensing she should warn others, stood up and was immediately shot.

“She was shot in the neck, and it punctured a vein and immediately she started spurting blood,” Obama said in a speech Sunday night.

“And apparently as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie – 21 years old – had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where she -where Allie had been wounded, and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting.”

Obama went on and added that Davies, despite being told by her friend to run, remained by her friend’s side until the SWAT team emerged at the scene. After that Davies carried Young across two parking lots to an ambulance.

“Because of Stephanie’s timely actions, I just had a conversation with Allie downstairs, and she is going to be fine,” Obama said. “I don’t know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did or the courage that Allie showed.”

“And so as tragic as the circumstances of what we’ve seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families,” he added.

“It’s worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie. Because they represent what’s best in us and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come,” concluded the President.

Obama also mentioned that the bravery of the girl gives the nation hope that after “this darkness a brighter day is going to come.”

“Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away,” President Obama said.

“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,” he added.

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