(WASHINGTON) — The Senate on Monday observed a moment of silence for the 12 people who died and 58 who were injured in the Aurora, Colo., shooting last week.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., led the Senate in the pause as the Senate opened up the floor for business for the week.
“This afternoon the Senate pauses to remember those killed in last week’s horrific shooting in Colorado,” Reid said. “Today we pause to mourn the dead but also honor how they lived. We pledge our support to the people of Aurora, Colo., both as they grieve and as they begin to heal from this terrible tragedy.”
Reid asked how to “make sense of something that’s so senseless,” and said that the nation may never know the “motivations behind this terrible crime.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., read the names of the 12 victims and asked for prayers for the injured as they recover.
“There are few things more common in America than going out to a movie with friends, which is why the first response most of us had to the shootings in on aurora was to think, it could have been any of us,” McConnell said. “It’s the randomness of a crime like this that makes it impossible to understand and so hard to accept.”
Not mentioning suspect James Holmes by name, McConnell called him a “monster,” and called on the nation to come together to honor the memory of the victims.
“As is almost always the case in moments like this, the horror has been tempered somewhat by the acts of heroism and self-sacrifice that took place in the midst of the violence.” McConnell said. “We were also moved by the outpouring of compassion that followed and by the refusal of the people of Aurora to allow the monster who committed this crime to eclipse the memory of the people he killed.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Daniella Diaz and Jeff Zeleny, CNN
Sophie Tatum, CNN
David Chalian, CNN