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Flags At Half-Staff In NJ To Honor Colo. Shooting Victims

Gov. Christie Says Now Not The Time To Talk Gun Control
Crosses stand at the makeshift memorial to the 12 movie theater shooting victims across the street from the Century 16 Theater July 24, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Crosses stand at the makeshift memorial to the 12 movie theater shooting victims across the street from the Century 16 Theater July 24, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Flags will be flown at half-staff in New Jersey on Wednesday to honor the victims of the Colorado movie theater massacre.

Twelve people were killed and nearly 60 more were injured when police said 24-year-old James Holmes, dressed in body armor and armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and handguns, walked into a theater in Aurora, Colo. and opened fire on Friday.

One of those killed, 24-year-old Alex Teves, was originally from New Jersey. As a boy, he moved from the Garden State to Phoenix with his parents.

“He was what you might call an ideal grandson,” said his grandfather, Carlo Iacovelli of Barnegat, N.J. “He was a fun guy. He loved to eat.”

Teves earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology in June from the University of Denver.

“Alex will be remembered as an intelligent young man with a passion for living life to the fullest,” said Mary Gomez, a counseling psychology professor at the University of Denver and one of Teves’ graduate advisors. “His top priority was his relationships. His loyalty is admirable and he always put his friends first.”

Teves was planning to become a psychiatrist, his grandfather said.

“He had a lot to look forward to,” Iacovelli said.

Since the shooting, several politicians, including New Jersey’s two U.S. senators and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have renewed their calls for tighter gun control laws.

But Christie reiterated his stance Tuesday that it would be wrong to discuss tougher gun control in the wake of the deadly shootings.

Speaking Tuesday night on radio station NJ101.5′s “Ask the Governor” show, Christie said politicians should be “keeping a respectful distance” for the time being so the Colorado victims’ families can mourn their deaths.

“I don’t want to seem like a politician who is trying to capitalize on tragedy,” he said. “I think we have too many of those. Whether you agree or disagree with the position philosophically, it’s to me, of no moment.”

Christie said he agreed with how President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney handled their campaigns after the shootings.

“They both said this is not the time to discuss the political issues, they both stood down, offered their sympathies to the families,” Christie said. “That’s what leaders are supposed to do. Not get on their horse and start riding their partisan horse on this while people still haven’t had the opportunity to bury the dead.”

The governor’s on-air statements echoed those he made Monday during a Statehouse news conference when he told reporters he was “disturbed” by politicians who he said were trying to “make political points” on the tragedy.

“I think we have enough gun laws now and it’s time for us to enforce the gun laws that we have now, which I think we do fairly well here in this state,” Christie said.

But Bloomberg disputed Christie’s comments Tuesday, saying “Gov. Christie has said there are too many hand guns in New Jersey.”

Bloomberg has been outspoken about his stance on gun control since Friday’s shooting in Aurora.

He’s challenged both presidential candidates to take a courageous stand on the issue and while appearing on CNN Monday, said police officers to “go on strike” as a way to get Congress to renew the expired federal ban on assault weapons.

But Tuesday, he clarified those remarks, saying he didn’t mean for officers to “literally go on strike.”

“Keep in mind, it is police officers who run into danger when the rest of us run out. Police officers have families. They want to come home to their families safely,” he said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday that he thought the mayor’s comments were a statement of frustration.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)