President Trump made a statement at a White House dinner for Evangelical leaders Monday night on the Jacksonville mass shooting that left three people dead, including the gunman, and 11 people injured.
President Trump spoke at the dinner, extending prayers to the victims of the recent Jacksonville, Florida shooting. He also used his speech to make his first public statement concerning the late Senator John McCain.
“Before going any further, I want to extend our prayers and condolences to the victims of the tragic shooting in Jacksonville, Florida,” he said. “That was a terrible thing indeed, and how it happens nobody really knows.”
President Trump was coming under fire for the last 24 hours due to his lack of response to the shooting, specifically on his favorite social media platform, essentially ignoring the incident, according to several angry Twitter users.
Instead of addressing the shooting, Trump spent Sunday and Monday tweeting about his approval ratings, a trade agreement “in the works” with Mexico, several endorsements for Republican politicians running for office, and a tweet about Tiger Woods.
Several angry users accused President Trump of not commenting on the shooting in Jacksonville because the gunman was white. The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump had posted her condolences on Twitter, and immediately received a torrent of backlash at his silence and her alleged hypocrisy.
“And we all know that because he’s white this is as far as your thoughts will go!”
“Well, well, what’s daddy going to say since it was a White Dude?” user LynnZ wrote, followed by an image depicting several Caucasian criminals. “Probably nothing profound.”
“Your father is in bed with @NRA, he has removed barriers to mentally ill people getting weapons, and unless the perpetrator is a person of color, he will not give a damn,” activist blogger John Pavlovitz posted.
Although President Trump was quiet for the last 24 hours regarding the incident in Jacksonville, Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office said the governor, who earlier had tweeted he was spending the day with his grandchildren, was leaving Naples for Jacksonville and had spoken to the president about the shooting.
The statement said Scott would be briefed by law enforcement and would offer any state resources that are necessary to help victims of the shooting. Trump, the statement said, offered “any federal resources needed.”
As details of the shooting emerged, some disturbing video surfaced with it. Video from the seen shows a red dot on a player’s clothing, presumed to be a laser, ABC News reports. Another clip from a livestream shows the chaos unfolding live on the internet, as the gunman, identified as David Katz, opened fire in a crowded gaming bar inside a Chicago Pizza during the tournament. You can watch the videos here.
Chicago Pizza was hosting a satellite tournament for a nationwide EA Sports-sanctioned Madden NFL 19 competition that will culminate in a Las Vegas event with $125,000 on the line. A competitor in the tournament told the newspaper that Katz came back to the event with a gun and “targeted a few people” before fatally shooting himself.
Katz, 24, of Maryland, fatally shot himself at the scene, and was described as a “disgruntled” gamer who had participated in the Madden tournament, according to Fox. Katz had a history of mental illness, and was hospitalized multiple times growing up. Divorce filings from his parents say that as a teenager he was “twice hospitalized in psychiatric facilities and that he was prescribed anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications,” according to ABC.
Katz was armed with two semi-automatic handguns – a .45 caliber and a 9mm, along with extra ammo, according to police. One of the guns was equipped with an aftermarket laser sight, police said.