(WASHINGTON) — The House of Representatives observed a somber moment of silence today to honor the 12 killed and 58 wounded in last Friday’s shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the Colorado Democrat who represents the part of Aurora where the tragedy struck, led the House with remarks on behalf of Colorado’s entire House delegation.
“I stand here with a lot of sadness with my friends from the Colorado delegation. We’re a pretty tight-knit group,” Perlmutter began, surrounded in the well of the House chamber by Colorado Democrats and Republicans. “We had a terrible incident in Aurora, Colorado on Friday. You all are well aware of it. Twelve people were killed, 58 were wounded and it with sadness and grief that we come before you today.”
Perlmutter said that while Coloradoans remember the victims of the shooting, there is “silver lining in this very, very dark moment in the history of Colorado” characterized by the “bravery, and selflessness and heroism among the people that were in that theatre that night.”
“Anyone of us can tell you stories of how people to complete strangers were willing to give up their own lives to save the life of the stranger next to them. In times when it is difficult like that you want to find bright spots, and there were many,” he said. “Another bright spot was the courage demonstrated by the Aurora police and the fire department and the FBI and the ATF in the face of what was a monstrous action by this guy.”
James Holmes, 24, is suspected of bursting into a movie theater and engaging in a shooting spree shortly after the opening night showing of The Dark Knight Rises began. Holmes was quickly arrested behind the theatre without incident.
“In Colorado, we consider ourselves to be pretty tough. Aurorans where this act took place are pretty tough,” he continued. “It hurts. We all hurt, but we’re resilient and we will get through it and the stories that some of those who are injured are sharing actually really do lighten the day.”
Perlmutter thanked his colleagues in the House for a “tremendous outpouring of sympathy and condolences and compassion” before observing 21 seconds of silence in the House chamber.
“I ask that all of you stand with me and our delegation in a moment of silence to honor the memory of those that were killed, the wounded victims and all Americans during this time of healing,” Perlmutter declared. “We will remember these people who were hurt and we will help them all along the way.”
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Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN
Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN