AURORA, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — Hundreds of mourners are gathered at vigils for the victims of the shootings at a suburban Denver theater showing the latest Batman movie on Friday.
More vigils are also planned for the victims on Saturday on Sunday.
Near the entrance to the theater’s parking lot, a makeshift memorial of 12 candles sat in a row near piles of flowers. Up the hill, about 20 pastors led an emotional vigil for about 350 people, some hugging and crying.
“Sometimes when things are out of control the only thing we can do is pray,” a pastor at the vigil said.
Pastors and elected officials comforted the grieving community.
“Some of you know somebody. Even if you don’t know somebody who lost their life or is impacted just simply being in that theater is trauma,” another pastor told the crowd. “Reach out to these people and tell them that you’ll pray for them.”
“I’ve been part of this community for a long time and it’s just devastating,” a woman said. “It’s really hard to deal with.”
One grandmother whose three children survived the shootings attended the vigil because the emotions were overwhelming.
“I’m crying and I’m grieving for those who didn’t make it,” she said. “I think as a community we need to reach out and love one another in times like this.”
At the Queen of Peace Roman Catholic church in Aurora, a few miles from the shooting, more than 1,000 mourners gathered Friday evening for a memorial Mass. Newly installed Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila told mourners dabbing their eyes, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
He said, “The heart of our Father is stronger than the bullets that killed 12 people.”
There is another vigil scheduled at 7 p.m. at Gateway High School.
The community of Aurora will gather at the Aurora Municipal Building located near Alameda and Chambers Sunday night for another vigil.
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