My colleague Andy Dallos had an item yesterday, noting that President Obama was in Aurora and that we'd publish the video, so I wanted to be sure to post this clip this morning. The president spoke for about 10 minutes without a prepared text at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora (for those who can't watch clips online, the transcript is available).
There was one story that Obama told that I hope folks will take a moment to remember. The president spoke, just a few minutes before addressing the cameras, with Allie Young, who is 19, and who was in the theater with friend Stephanie Davies, who's 21.
"When the gunman initially came in and threw the canisters, he threw them only a few feet away from Allie and Stephanie, who were sitting there watching the film. Allie stood up, seeing that she might need to do something or at least warn the other people who were there. And she was immediately shot. And she was shot in the neck, and it punctured a vein, and immediately she started spurting blood.
"And apparently, as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie -- 21 years old -- had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where she -- where Allie had been wounded, and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting. Allie told Stephanie she needed to run. Stephanie refused to go -- instead, actually, with her other hand, called 911 on her cell phone.
"Once the SWAT team came in, they were still trying to clear the theater. Stephanie then, with the help of several others, carries Allie across two parking lots to where the ambulance is waiting. And because of Stephanie's timely actions, I just had a conversation with Allie downstairs, and she is going to be fine."
The president described these young women as representing "what's best in us, and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come."
There was also a vigil in Aurora last night, but to help keep the focus on the families and community, the president did not attend.
In the meantime, we continue to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the massacre, including the fact that the suspected gunman, James Holmes, "was able to build what the police called a 6,000-round arsenal legally and easily over the Internet, exploiting what critics call a virtual absence of any laws regulating ammunition sales." Piecing together the details will apparently take quite a bit more time because the accused is not cooperating with law enforcement.