Barack Obama “shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado”

The US President has released a statement following the fatal shooting of 12 people at a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Denver

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Barack Obama, the President of the United States, has released a statement following the fatal shooting of at least 12 people at a Batman film premiere in the city of Aurora in Denver, Colorado, earlier today:

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“Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado,” said President Obama.

“Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time.

“We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded.

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.

“All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends and neighbours, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”

A gunman wearing a gas mask is reported to have embarked on a shooting spree inside the Century Theater at the Aurora Mall in Denver and may also have released tear gas.

In addition to the 12 fatalities, up to 50 people are reported to have been injured.

A suspect, named by the FBI as 24-year-old James Holmes, has since been arrested.

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The cinema where the shooting took place is located within 20 miles of Columbine High School where two students shot dead 13 people back in 1999.