Washington, Oct 2 (TNS): President Donald Trump today called the deadly shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night an “act of pure evil.”
“We are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Trump said from the White House.
He praised the efforts of the emergency services, saying their “miraculous” speed saved lives, and announced he would be visiting Las Vegas.
At least 58 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert.
A gunman, named as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air music festival attended by 22,000.
He killed himself as police stormed the room where 10 guns were found.
Trump said he ordered the White House to lower its flags to half-staff in memory of the victims. He offered condolences to the families of the victims and said he would be praying for a “full and speedy recovery” for the injured.
US President thanked the first responders and the officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) for their “miraculous” speed in responding to the scene.
“To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful,” said Trump, who later spoke on the phone with LVMPD Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.
He said he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday “to meet with law enforcement, first responders and the families of the victims.”
“Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence. And though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today — and always will, forever,” Trump said.
The president and first lady Melania Trump will lead a moment of silence at 2:45 p.m. ET on the White House South Lawn.
After his remarks, Trump ignored questions from reporters on whether the shooting is an act of domestic terrorism as he welcomed the prime minister of Thailand to the White House. But during his meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in the Oval Office, Trump said today was a “sad day” and a “very, very sad moment for me and for everybody.” Trump also said he will be spending the full day of Wednesday in Las Vegas and “maybe longer than that.”
He tweeted earlier this morning, sending his “condolences and sympathies” to the victims and their families of the shooting.