US President Barack Obama has told victims of the attack at a Batman film screening in Aurora, Colorado, that the whole country is thinking of them.
Mr Obama met survivors and families of the dead when he visited the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.
He said he shared hugs and tears and vowed that "out of darkness a brighter day is going to come".
James Holmes, 24, has been arrested in connection with the attack, which killed 12 and injured 58.
Mr Holmes is alleged to have opened fire during a packed midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises before being detained outside the cinema.
He is currently being held in solitary confinement for his own safety and is reported to be not co-operating. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Mr Holmes had "lawyered up" and is not talking.
President Obama said he had visited as much as a father and husband as a president, because everyone understood what it must be like to have someone taken in this fashion.
He said: "You see young people who have come in and just two days ago or 36 hours ago or even 24 hours ago, it wasn't certain whether they would make it and now suddenly their eyes are open, they are alert, and they are talking and it reminds you that even in the darkest of days... life continues."
Mr Obama added: "I confessed to them words were inadequate but my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and say we are thinking about them at this moment each and every day."
The president said he had shared hugs and tears, but also laughter as the families recounted the lives of their loved ones.
Mr Oates said: "As awful as what they've been through and what they're going through has been, having the president here is very, very powerful."
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