The news came in to Mitch Hamilton by phone just after midnight.

Members of his church had been inside the theater when shots rang out.

Hamilton is pastor of Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church, near the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman opened fire early Friday, killing 12 and wounding dozens more.

“We’re close, but you feel like you’re a million miles away,” Hamilton said during a break from tending to the needs of his church and planning a prayer vigil.

“Things are happening so fast,” he said.

He thinks his church members are not among the dead, but with no list of victims, no one is sure. Either way, he knows there is a gaping wound in his community.

Clergy across Aurora, the Denver area and the state are wrestling with how to respond to a senseless act of violence that has rocked their community.

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