In an address to the nation Monday morning, President Donald Trump called the mass shooting in Las Vegas an “act of pure evil.”
He offered condolences to the victims and praised the first responders.
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one,” Trump said.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 527 injured when a gunman, identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire on an outdoor concert in Las Vegas late Sunday night. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Earlier Monday, Mr. Trump, tweeted his “warmest condolences and sympathies” to the victims.
Country music superstar Jason Aldean was on-stage when the shooting began at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says Paddock killed himself and that they believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. Paddock was found by police on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which is across the street from the concert venue. Authorities have not yet released a motive but they do not believe ISIS or any other terrorist group is behind the attack.
Among those killed were two off-duty police officers, Lombardo says.
Police have located Paddock’s companion, Marilou Danley, who was sought after as a person of interest in the investigation.
Previously, Mr. Trump has responded to mass shootings as a private citizen.
Following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida in June 2016, where 49 people were killed, then-candidate Trump tweeted:
He went on to blast President Obama for his refusal to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” The shooter, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State while on the phone with police negotiators:
Mr. Trump also used the shooting as an example of why his so-called Muslim ban was necessary:
Two days later, Mr. Trump blasted the media for not calling the shooting an “act of terror.”
In December 2012, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 26 people — including 20 children — were killed, Mr. Trump offered his condolences and praised then-President Obama for his response:
Four days after the shooting, Mr. Trump called for unity: