'This Week' Transcript: Tragedy in Colorado

PHOTO:Aurora Police responded to the Century 16 movie theater, July 20, 2012.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning, a special edition of "This Week."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's happening? Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got seven down in theater nine, seven down.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Colorado catastrophe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the first time I saw something that was real, like a real-life nightmare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a child victim, I need rescue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Twelve killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me and my kids, we are not going to die in here, I need to get them out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: 58 wounded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have taken a blow today, but we will get back on our feet and we will move ahead.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, 48 hours after the worst mass shooting in American history, as the nation mourns the victims and consoles the survivors, the search for answers.

OBAMA: If there is anything to take away from this tragedy, it's the reminder that life is very fragile.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why do these tragedies continue? Can anything be done to stop them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you think we're angry, we sure as hell are angry.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll get to the heart of those questions, plus all the latest on the investigation, the killer, his innocent victims and a community shattered. Special coverage of the tragedy in Colorado, the movie theater massacre, begins now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning. In Aurora, Colorado, this morning, a memorial to the victims of that nightmare that unfolded early Friday morning. An all-too-familiar ritual of mourning and remembrance. President Obama will visit Aurora later today to console the families of those lost, as police piece together the maniacal plan of a cold-blooded killer and America responds to the horror. Our guests and experts are standing by to weigh in on what happened and why, and the policy debates about guns and violence that inevitably follow a rampage like this. And we begin in Aurora with ABC's Cecilia Vega. And Cecilia, this is a town hit so hard.

CECILIA VEGA, ABC NEWS: Yes, George, everybody reeling out here. Good morning to you in New York.

The president arrived at 4:00, but just before 4:00 this afternoon, we're told, he'll be meeting with the victims, who are still in the hospital. There are families of those who have passed away out here, as well as state and local officials. As for those victims, we now know all of their identities. The coroner releasing them yesterday. These stories are so tragic out here, stories of courage, men who jumped in the line of fire to protect their girlfriends. The youngest victim just a 6-year-old little girl. She came to this movie with her mother. That mother remains in critical condition today.

As for the shooter and the shooting, authorities spent the day, all day yesterday at his apartment here in Aurora, trying to get inside this building. They say this was a complex scene, a chilling scene inside the apartment of trip wires and booby traps, the police chief saying that this was setup to kill the first person who walks through the door. Authorities, again, authorities still aren't saying what the motive was. Holmes remains in custody here. His first court appearance is tomorrow morning, George.

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