President Donald Trump met Wednesday with surviving victims of the Las Vegas shooting at University Medical Center in the city and hailed their heroism for trying to save others even as their own lives were in danger.
Trump also credited the bravery of law enforcement members and honored the professionalism of doctors and other medical staff for their response to the massacre.
“I have to tell you: it makes you very proud to be an American when you look at the job that they’ve done,” he said.
When asked at University Medical Center his message for those impacted by the shooting, Trump said, “We’re with you 100 percent,” adding that he had invited some victims to the White House.
“And believe me, I’ll be there for them,” he promised.
Asked about gun violence in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Trump deflected, saying he wouldn’t talk about that today.
After the hospital, Trump visited the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where he spoke with law enforcement, including Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.
“The mass murder that took place on Sunday night fills America’s heart with grief,” Trump said in a somber, scripted address. “America is truly a nation in mourning.”
Those “whose final act was to sacrifice themselves for those they loved should inspire all of us to show more love every day for the people who grace our lives,” the president said, highlighting stories of law enforcement officials, including some who attended the musical festival off-duty, who risked their lives to help others during the shooting.
“When…the worst of humanity strikes, and strike it did, the best of humanity responds,” he said.
In earlier, more informal remarks, the president called the shooter a “sick, demented man.”
Trump arrived in Nevada days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 people at a country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Before leaving the White House on Wednesday morning, the president spoke briefly with reporters, describing America’s deadliest shooting in modern history as “a very sad thing” and offering his praise for law enforcement.
“We’re going to pay our respects and to see the police, who have done really a fantastic job in a very short time,” Trump said. “It’s a very, very sad day for me, personally.”
The president said officials were learning more about the shooter and that information will be made public soon.
While Democrats have called for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting, the White House and Republicans leaders have deemed that policy debate “premature.”
–NBC News, Ali Vitali