Hundreds of mourners gathered in vigils across Aurora, Colorado, on Friday (July 20) to remember the 12 killed and 58 injured in the shooting at an area midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
In the Kaiser Permanente parking lot across the street from the Century 16 theater where the attack took place, several hundred gathered to pray, light candles and sing songs, lingering until after sundown, according to the Denver Post. Several of the mourners in attendance had been at the showing or working in the theater when shots rang out.
At nearby Queen of Peace Roman Catholic church, more than 1,000 gathered Friday evening for a memorial Mass. Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila assured those gathered, “The heart of our Father is stronger than the bullets that killed 12 people.”
Friday also marked the beginning of the Global Dance Festival in Morrison, Colorado, at Red Rocks Amphitheater, a roughly 30-minute drive from Aurora . Organizer Triad Dragons Entertainment issued a statement Friday saying they would include a moment of silence during the event to honor victims and their families.
“Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors here in the Colorado community who are affected by this senseless act of violence. As a Colorado based company, this incident is especially personal and serves as an unwelcomed reminder that life is so very fragile,” Triad Dragons CEO Ha Hau said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been impacted by this tragedy. For the fans joining us tonight at Global Dance Festival, we will be observing a moment of silence at 8:30 to honor the victims and their families.”
Swedish House Mafia member and veteran house music DJ/producer Steve Angello, who would be performing at the fest, issued a statement to MTV News, saying: “I’d like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those affected by the horrible events in Aurora, Colorado. It’s unfair that so many precious lives were lost in this tragedy and during a leisure activity that so many of us participate in every day. Tonight’s performance at Global Dance Festival is dedicated to the memory of those we lost in Aurora, Colorado.”
A makeshift memorial of 12 candles and flowers has been set up near the theater’s entrance.
A suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes was taken into custody on Friday. In his weekly address on Saturday (July 21), President Barack Obama vowed that whoever was responsible for the grisly attacks would be held accountable.
“The federal government stands ready to do everything necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice,” he said. “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.”
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