Mayors Against Illegal Guns said participants were reading the names of about 2,500 people who have been killed by gunfire since Dec. 14, when a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook.
The Aurora vigil came almost a year to the day after 12 people were killed and 70 others were wounded, some paralyzed, in a July 20 attack at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The victims’ names were being read until 12:38 a.m. Saturday, the moment that the shootings began in the theater last year.
The theater planned no midnight showings on July 20 this year.
At least eight uniformed police officers were at the theater complex Friday, including one inside the auditorium where the shootings took place.
Dallas Hill of Aurora, who was among about 30 people who watched “Red 2” in that theater Friday night, said he had no qualms about being there.
“We’ve been in there several times before,” he said. “The first couple times (after the shooting) it was a little eerie,” he said.
Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, accompanied by more than 20 white-robed priests, led a memorial Mass for the theater victims Friday night at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Aurora.
“Sin, violence and evil does not have the final word,” he said in his homily.
Names of those killed alternated on video screens outside the sanctuary.
Remembrance events planned for Saturday included an early morning memorial service and a host of volunteer civic works, music, arts and even meditation. Aurora officials say they wanted to promote healing.