Barack Obama
Left: Shooting victim Samantha Yowler is pushed in a wheelchair into the University of Colorado Hospital to meet President Barack Obama in Aurora. Right: Obama walks after meeting victims of shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

US President Barack Obama has visited survivors of the Aurora gun rampage. Obama told them the nation stood by them after the massacre at the midnight screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, in which 12 people died.

"To the entire community of Aurora, the country is thinking of you. I know that there's going to be a vigil and an opportunity for everybody to come together. And I hope that all those who are in attendance understand that the entire country will be there in prayer and reflection today," said Obama.

At the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, he said he was happy to share hugs and shed tears along with the victims. Twelve survivors were been discharged but seven others were said to be in a serious condition, a hospital spokesperson told the New York Times.

Obama praised two friends who who were caught up in the tragedy. Allie Young, 19, was one of the people to be shot immediately after 24-year-old James Holmes entered the theatre. Young, who was shot in the neck, started bleeding and collapsed.

Young's friend, 21-year-old Stephanie Davies, also fell down but put her hand over Young's wound to staunch the flow of blood, while she called emergency services. Davies refused to run although Young told her to do so.

"Once the Swat team came in, they were still trying to clear the theatre. 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," said Obama.

Both Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney cancelled their election campaigns in respect over the tragic incident.

"Sat down with President Obama. He has been incredible. He too has agreed not to mention the shooter's name," Jordan Ghawi, one of the victim's brothers, tweeted.