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Aurora police chief: Obama visit ‘important’ for victims’ families

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The police chief said he hoped the visit from the president would offer families comfort that local government may not have been able to extend in the chaotic aftermath of the shooting.

"I spent 90 minutes with the families on Friday afternoon, and this was during the period the 10 deceased, the bodies were still in the theater, and they were so desperate for confirmation that I couldn't give to them, and they were hurting so much," Oates said. 

"We were so pleased to be able to tell them through our victim advocates contacting the families yesterday that the president is coming here. These families need that kind of contact by our elected leader and it will be very powerful and it will help them. As awful as what they've been through, and what they're going through has been, having the president there is very, very powerful and it means a great deal to them and all of Aurora."

The White House said Sunday that the president will "visit with families of victims of the shooting as well as local officials" during his visit there. Oates confirmed he would be among the local officials to meet with the president.

Obama spoke with Oates on Friday afternoon to the police chief that he could count on the "full support" of the federal government in his investigation. 

In his weekly address, Obama called on the nation to turn to "prayer and reflection" and vowed that the federal government would do "everything necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice."

Authorities believe the shootings are the work of a lone gunman, James Holmes, 24, who is in custody. On Saturday, police disabled an intricate set of booby-trapped explosives inside Homes's Aurora apartment and began removing evidence, including a computer and other documents.

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