At a small press conference from the White House on Monday morning (Oct. 2), President Donald Trump made a lengthy statement about the mass shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The tragedy is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Just 12 hours after the 10:00 p.m. shooting, President Trump addressed reporters, saying:
“My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief. Last night a gunmen opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people, and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil.
“The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops. I want to thank the Las Vegas metro police department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts for helping to save the lives of so many. 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. It shows what true professionalism is all about.
“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one: a parent, a child, a brother or sister. 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. Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
“To the wounded, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward. In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half staff.
“In moments of tragedy and horror America comes together as one. And it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and 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, it is our love that defines us today, and always will.
“In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness, (but) 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.”
The President then remarked that he and the First Lady were praying for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
“May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost. May God give us the grace of healing. And may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on,” the President said.
President Trump said he will be traveling to Las Vegas on Wednesday (Oct. 4).
CMT’s philanthropic initiative CMT One Country is supporting the Red Cross in the wake of this massacre. Our hearts are with everyone affected by the mass shooting in Las Vegas. If you are trying to locate loved one, please call the Red Cross hotline: 1-866-535-5654.
If you are in Nevada and would like to donate blood, please go to www.bloodhero.com to find out where to give.