President Obama delivered somber remarks on the shooting in Aurora, Colo., canceling campaign events and calling for a day of reflection and prayer.
“We’re still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora, but what we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody and the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice,” Obama said on Friday.
“While we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living,” Obama said. He added, “If there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is very fragile."
Obama made no mention, not even by inference, to gun violence or legal access to firearms. As yet, nothing concrete is known about how the suspect in custody came to possess the firearms used in the attack. The White House does not think the attack was connected to terrorism, press secretary Jay Carney said.
The crowd that had gathered for what was supposed to be a campaign rally occasionally cheered during the president’s comments, despite the serious nature of his remarks. Obama called for a moment of silence at the close of his remarks.
“There are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection,” the president said.
Obama canceled his other campaign events scheduled for Friday and will return to Washington. He has requested another briefing from top administration officials upon his arrival later this afternoon.
Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama also canceled political events for the day.
(RELATED: Congress Reacts to Colorado Shooting)
Obama phoned Gov. John Hickenlooper, the former mayor of Denver, and Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan to offer the nation’s condolences and all necessary federal assistance. Aurora is a Denver suburb.
On a personal note, Obama said when he heard the news shortly before 6 a.m. ET, he thought of his daughters, Sasha, 14, and Malia, 11. “My daughters go to the movies, as so many of our kids do every day." Obama said he and Michelle, as well as parents across the country, will “hug our kids a little tighter” as they think about the tragedy.
Obama’s chief speech writer, Jon Favreau, was on the Florida campaign trip and worked with Obama on his morning remarks. The White House would not say whether Obama would address the Aurora shooting again on Friday.