President Trump condemned the mass shooting in Las Vegas in remarks from the White House Monday morning, calling it “an act of pure evil.” He offered words of praise for the courage and quick actions of first responders and sought to provide words of comfort for grieving families.
At least 58 were killed and hundreds injured in the shooting at a country music concert outside the Mandalay Bay casino and resort on the Last Vegas Strip late Sunday night, making it the worst mass shooting in the United States in modern history. Trump said he had directed that flags be flown at half-staff in the memory of the dead and that he would travel to Las Vegas Wednesday to meet with law enforcement and victims of the attack and their families.
“I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many,” the president said. “The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful.”
“We are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Trump said.
He offered words of comfort for family and friends of the victims, saying that he and first lady Melania Trump were praying for them.
“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister,” Trump said. “We cannot fathom their pain; we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you, and we are here for you and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.”
“To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals,” he continued, “we are praying for your full and speedy recovery. We pledge to you our support from this day forward.”
The president, speaking in measured tones, called for national unity and spoke of the bonds between citizens.
“In moments of tragedy and horror America comes together as one — and it always has,” he said. “We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family and shared values. 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.”