President Donald Trump on Monday responded to Sunday night's deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying that he will visit the city on Wednesday to meet with first responders and victims’ families.
'An act of pure evil'
“My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief,” Trump said in remarks from the White House, calling the shooting at a country music festival “an act of pure evil.”
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one,” he said. “And it always has."
"We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family, and our shared values," Trump said. "We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. 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.”
He added, "In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy."
“But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope,” Trump said.
Trump praised first responders and Las Vegas police for “their courageous efforts” in response to the attack.
“It shows what true professionalism is all about,” he said.
The president directed flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the victims until sunset on Friday.
NEW: Pres. Trump orders flags at half-staff on all federal and public buildings. "Our Nation is heartbroken."… https://t.co/gJPUT0awEB— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics) 1506957050.0
Trump said that he and first lady Melania Trump are praying for the victims.
According to Reuters, police said more than 50 people were killed and more than 400 were injured when a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday evening from a 32nd-floor window of a hotel.
Police identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, 64. Police said he took his own life before they entered his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police have not yet shared information about a possible motive.
Police noted that the death toll is preliminary, but if it remains at 50 or more, it would be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, surpassing last year’s attack at an Orlando nightclub by a gunman who said he acted on behalf of the Islamic State terrorist group. Forty-nine people were killed in that attack.