Terrible news ruled the day, and everyone reacted solemnly, except Louie Gohmert, who said weird stuff about the Constitution and the War on Christmas. The presidential candidates suspended the nasty, and Mitt Romney released his tax returns. Kidding. We think. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, July 20th:
DOWNER - When he returned to his red-brick apartment building in Aurora, Colo. on Thursday afternoon, Zhang Yi said he bumped right into James Eagan Holmes. Yi, a 34-year-old visiting scholar of interventional neuroradiology at the University of Colorado Hospital, said that when Yi opened the back door to the building, Holmes walked out carrying two black bags. Yi tried to greet him. "I said, 'Hey,' and he doesn't answer me," Yi said in a phone interview. "Not friendly." Yi said he had never seen Holmes before, but watched him put the bags in the back of his car before going inside. Around 2:00 a.m. Friday, police banged on Yi's second-floor door and told him that he and his seven-year-old son had to evacuate the building right away. Yi didn't get details, he said, but they told him a "bad thing happened" somewhere else. He later learned that Holmes had walked into an opening-night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at a nearby movie theater, set off some smoke bombs, and shot 71 people, resulting in 12 deaths.
OBAMA REACTS - Luke Johnson: "President Barack Obama spoke on the Aurora, Colo., mass shootings on Friday in Fort Myers, Fla., where he had expected to hold a campaign event but instead discussed the tragedy. 'I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you,' he said. 'This morning we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways we are united as one American family.' 'We're going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time," he told the crowd. 'Such violence, such evil is senseless; it's beyond reason.' But, he added, 'We do know what makes life worth living. People in Aurora loved and were loved.'" [HuffPost]
ROMNEY: "We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice." [HuffPost]
SHOOTING CONFIRMS OUR OPINION OF LOUIS GOHMERT - Jen Bendery: "Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of 'ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs' and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter. During a radio interview on The Heritage Foundation's 'Istook Live!' show, Gohmert was asked why he believes such senseless acts of violence take place. Gohmert responded by talking about the weakening of Christian values in the country. 'You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place,' Gohmert said. 'Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important,' he said. 'Whether it's John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people ... Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters ... We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country.'" [HuffPost]
BRIAN ROSS: JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE, BUT THIS RANDOM GUY MIGHT BE A MASS MURDERER - Jack Mirkinson: "ABC's Brian Ross got himself into trouble on Friday when he incorrectly suggested there may have been a link between the alleged shooter in the Colorado theater tragedy and the Tea Party. Both Ross and the network later apologized for making the claim....'There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year,' Ross said. 'Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.'" [HuffPost]
MORE DOWNER - On June 2, Jessica Ghawi live-tweeted, under her handle @JessicaRedfield, a mass shooting at the food court at a Toronto mall.
@JessicaRedfield: In the Eaton Center. Cops everywhere. Ambulance everywhere. Being told someone started shooting in the food court.
@JessicaRedfield: Just saw a young boy, maybe young teen, rushed out on a stretcher. Face covered. Shirt off. How could someone do this
@JessicaRedfield: A man dressed as Batman is charging tourists to take pictures outside the Eaton Center yelling "MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!" Very tacky & heartless
Three days later, she posted a fuller account, noting that she had not changed her mind last minute and ditched the idea of food-court sushi, she would have been at the very spot where someone was shot.
@JessicaRedfield: Accidentally deleted my late night ramblings about my experience at the Eaton Center shooting. Reposted it here. http://bit.ly/Lj27ta
@PamYotesFan: @JessicaRedfield Read your blog, so sorry you had to experience that ....sounds horrific ... very glad you were not physically harmed
@JessicaRedfield: @PamYotesFan I'm blessed by the way the events happened for me. I wish the others had been too
As you've no doubt heard by now...
@JessicaRedfield: @jessespector MOVIE DOESN'T START FOR 20 MINUTES1
Ghawi, a Texan, was a hockey fanatic and an aspiring -- and already quite talented -- sportswriter. She took the name Redfield in honor of her grandmother, who she said had always wanted to be a journalist but never had the chance. Here's a video of her slipping and falling in heels on the ice, learning the craft, and eventually being serenaded by a college player to the Justin Bieber song Baby.
- This baby alpaca really enjoys looking at photos on its MacBook Pro.