President Obama cancels Winter Park trip over fatal Colo. movie theater shooting

President calls shooting 'horrific and tragic'

WINTER PARK, Fla. - President Barack Obama has canceled his campaign stop in Winter Park on Friday after the shooting that killed 12 and injured 50 at a movie theater in Colorado.

Obama was supposed to speak at Rollins College at around 4 p.m. Obama's campaign officials write in a statement, "In light of the tragedy in Colorado, the event in Winter Park, Florida will be cancelled."

Obama addressed the tragedy in Aurora, Colo. from Fort Myers, Fla. He says the event "reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family."

Obama asked for a moment of silence Friday and focused his shortened remarks exclusively on the tragedy. He said the shooting underscores how "our time here is limited and it is precious and that Friday should be devoted to prayer and reflection.

Obama also spoke from a parental point of view, asking "what if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day?"

"Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I'm sure you will do the same with your children," Obama continued. "But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation."

Obama released a statement Friday morning after the shooting at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises"  saying he is "shocked and saddened," by the "horrific and tragic" shooting.

"All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come," Obama wrote in a statement. "We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family."

The White House says Obama was informed of the shooting by his Homeland Security Advisor, John Brennan, at 5:26 a.m. EDT.

Local 6 spoke to residents down in Winter Park who said they were disappointed to hear the president cancel, but understood why.

"What happened today was terrible. I mean it's a tragedy so the President is needed, it's his expertise and he got to go back and do what he got to do so we understand," said Florence Thompson, who brought her three children to the event.

Obama's challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, is scheduled to speak about the shooting from New Hampshire Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.