Hickenlooper: Stricter gun laws would likely not have stopped killer

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said Sunday he doubted tougher gun control laws would have averted the movie-house killings in Aurora, Colo., speculating the attacker could have found various ways to perpetrate a massacre.

“This person, if there were no assault weapons available, if there were no this or no that, this guy’s going to find something. Right? He’s going to know how to create a bomb. Who knows where his mind would have gone. Clearly a very intelligent individual however twisted. That’s the problem, this is a human issue in some profound way,” Hickenlooper said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

“The people around him had no idea that this was something he was capable of,” said Hickenlooper.

The governor said law enforcement authorities continue to investigate James Holmes, the shooter, and declined to release any details.

He said investigators have conducted “hundreds of interviews” and “are certainly leaving no stone unturned” in an effort to understand Holmes’s motives.

“They’ve asked me not to talk about this. They’re learning more moment by moment. [They’re] getting all the information first before they release it publicly,” he said of investigators.

Hickenlooper said President Obama called him early Friday after the killings to discuss how he could be helpful. The president will travel to Aurora Sunday and plans to meet with the families of victims.

Hickenlooper said Obama would also try to visit wounded victims at the hospital but would not attend a memorial vigil scheduled for the evening. 

“He obviously wants to do what he could to help. He again said, ‘If I’m going to be a distracter or problem in any way, I shouldn’t come,’ and as we talked to individuals in the hospital and we talked to Mayor Hogan from Aurora who’s done an incredible job and pretty much I think it was unanimous that if the president could come it would be a very, very positive thing for this community, especially for the families of the victims,” Hickenlooper said.

 Hickenlooper said Obama felt it would have been too disruptive to attend the vigil.

“Everyone would have had to come two hours early,” said Hickenlooper. “He’s going to do what he can to help these families but not disrupt any more than is absolutely necessary.”