President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas today to meet with authorities, first responders and the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Late Sunday night, Stephen Paddock killed at least 58 people and wounded over 500 others when he shot at a group of 22,000 people enjoying the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival. You can watch Trump’s speech below.
“America is truly a nation in mourning,” the president said at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters. “We cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that incites such terror. We are defined by our love, our caring and our courage.”
Trump tweeted as he landed in Las Vegas at 11:49 a.m. ET. “I will be landing in Las Vegas shortly to pay my respects with @FLOTUS Melania. Everyone remains in our thoughts and prayers,” he wrote.
Trump left the White House early Wednesday morning, a day after his trip to Puerto Rico. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump met with first responders, civilian heroes and officials in Las Vegas. They are scheduled to be back at the White House by 8:30 p.m. EDT.
Trump announced the trip to Las Vegas during his speech on Monday, hours after the shooting.
“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,” Trump said Monday. “We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.”
Trump said that the evil cannot shatter the country’s unity, adding, “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. 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 shooting occurred late Sunday night during the country music festival, while Jason Aldean was performing. The shooter fired his weapons from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino across the street from the venue. The 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was found dead by police after they entered his room. Police have still not determined hos motive, but are now speaking with his longterm girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who arrived in Las Vegas after a trip to The Philippines, where she is originally from.
Paddock reportedly had 23 guns in the hotel room with him. He was a former IRS agent and mail man. His family says he became a multimillionaire by managing real estate properties and was semi-retired.