Trump calls Las Vegas concert shooting ‘act of pure evil’
Oct 2, 2017, 9:01 AM | Updated: 11:12 am
President Donald Trump called a shooting at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas an “act of pure evil” during a national address Monday.
“[Sunday] night, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada,” he said in the speech. “He brutally murdered more than 50 people, and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil.”
The president said he would fly to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with officials and families of the victims.
“Scripture teaches us, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,'” Trump said. “We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
“To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.”
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He also ordered flags around the nation to be flown at half-staff.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said at least 58 people were dead, including the shooter, and at least 500 more were injured in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Trump said law enforcement deserved praise for the speed in which it tracked down the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
“The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of life,” Trump said. “To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful.”
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said they believe this was a “lone wolf” attack. The FBI was assisting the investigation.
A Homeland Security official said there was no specific “credible threat” to other public venues in the U.S.
Concertgoers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Route 91 country music festival and the sound of what they described as automatic gunfire.
Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and the tune even started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay.
“You could see a flash-flash-flash-flash.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.