WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) – President Donald Trump says Wednesday’s mass shooting turned a Florida school into a “scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil.”
Trump addressed the nation a day after the shooting that killed at least 17 people. Trump says the entire nation “with one heavy heart” is praying for the victims and their families.
“Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them,” Trump said. “Today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives.”
Nikolas Jacob Cruz, an orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past and his own AR-15 rifle, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.
During his remarks, the president was silent on the issue of gun control.
“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” Trump said. “Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorneys general where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
Earlier Thursday, he suggested the suspect was “mentally disturbed.”
On Twitter, Trump says: “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
The president offered sympathy in a tweet Wednesday and said he spoke with Florida’s governor.
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
Trump has cited mental health before as a cause for mass shootings, dismissing questions about gun control.
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