* Six-year-old girl among the 12 killed
* Governor calls killer "diabolical"
* Says no clues as to possible motive
By Mary Slosson and Chris Francescani
AURORA, Co., July 22 Residents of a Denver
suburb mourned their dead on Sunday from a shooting rampage by a
"demonic" gunman who killed 12 people and wounded 58 after
opening fire at a cinema showing the new Batman movie.
President Barack Obama headed to Aurora, Colorado, on Sunday
to meet families grieving their losses Friday's mass shooting
that has stunned the nation and rekindled debate about guns and
violence in America.
Churchgoers dabbed at their eyes as special prayers were
offered in Aurora for those who died in the town of 325,000,
which is not far from the scene of the 1999 Columbine High
School student massacre.
"Our culture needs to change," Father Mauricio Bermudez told
a packed mass at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Aurora.
"What kind of people are we becoming? Today, we must change.
Today is the day."
The victims, who ranged in age from a girl of six to a man
of 51, died early on Friday when a gunman police identified as
graduate-school dropout James Holmes opened fire at a packed
midnight premiere of the Batman film, "Dark Knight Rises."
"We're still reeling," Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said at a
memorial late on Saturday for one young shooting victim.
A vigil was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday in front of
Aurora City Hall organized by civic community and religious
Obama's trip comes as investigators are deepening a probe
into Holmes. He was arrested at the multiplex immediately after
the shootings and local and federal authorities disarmed
explosives in his booby-trapped apartment on Saturday.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the shooting followed
months of "calculation and deliberation," as Holmes received a
"high volume" of deliveries of weaponry to his work and home.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, speaking on NBC
television's "Meet the Press" program, said there were still no
clues as to the motive for the shooting. But he said Holmes was
"a twisted, really delusional individual" who had not been
cooperating with authorities.
"He was diabolical, demonic," Hickenlooper said.
"I think of him almost as a terrorist. He wanted to take
away, not just from the people here but from the country, our
ability to enjoy life," he said.
On Saturday afternoon, the local coroner's officer released
the names of the 12 people killed, including those of the
six-year-old girl, a young man celebrating his 27th birthday and
an aspiring sportscaster who had barely escaped a shooting in a
Toronto mall earlier this summer.
Those who witnessed the shooting told of a nightmarish
scene, with dazed victims bleeding from bullet wounds, spitting
up blood and crying for help.
For many, it evoked memories of the 1999 massacre at
Columbine High School in Littleton, 17 miles (27 km) from
Aurora, where two students opened fire and killed 12 students
and a teacher.
The incident has also reverberated in the U.S. presidential
race. Both Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, toned
down their campaigns on Friday, pulled ads from Colorado and
dedicated scheduled events to the victims.
In Rome on Sunday, Pope Benedict expressed dismay and
sadness at the shooting.
"I was deeply shocked by the senseless violence which took
place in Aurora, Denver," he said in his regular Sunday Angelus
"I share the distress of the families and friends of the
victims and the injured, especially the children," he said.
Holmes was arrested in a parking lot behind the cinema. He
was armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P .223 semi-automatic rifle,
similar to an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a
Glock .40-caliber handgun. Police found an additional Glock
.40-caliber handgun in his car. All the weapons were legally
bought in the previous 60 days.
Authorities said Holmes had dyed his hair red and called
himself "the Joker" in a reference to Batman's comic-book
nemesis, was due to make an initial court appearance on Monday.
Sources familiar with the investigation said some 30
softball-sized containers filled with gunpowder were found in
Holmes' apartment, together with containers filled with
"incendiary liquids" intended to fuel a fire from the initial
explosions, as well as bullets meant to ricochet around the
Holmes was being held in solitary confinement to protect him
from other prisoners, a routine move in high-profile cases, said
Grayson Robinson, sheriff of Arapahoe County.
He is due to make his initial appearance before a judge at
the Arapahoe County Justice Center on Monday morning.
Little has surfaced from his past to suggest he was capable
of such violence.
Until last month, Holmes was studying for a doctoral degree
in neuroscience at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical
School, a few blocks from his apartment.
The University of Colorado Hospital, which treated some of
the shooting victims, said 10 people had been released and five
remained in critical condition. The Medical Center of Aurora
said four of its seven patients remained in intensive care,
while three others were on the main trauma floor.
A memorial of flowers, candles and stuffed animals has
sprung up where the shootings took place. A handwritten sign
read: "7/20 gone not forgotten."
(Additional reporting by Stephanie Simon, Keith Coffman, Edith
Honan, Dan Whitcomb and Donna Smith in the United States and
James Mackenzie in Rome; Editing by Tom Brown and David