“We are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief. Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada,” the president said of the massacre that unfolded Sunday night. “He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil.”
“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one – a parent, a child, a brother or sister,” he continued. “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 God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
“In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half staff,” the president added.
Trump also praised first responders for their quick action that saved lives, and said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation. The president said he will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday.
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one and it always has,” he said. “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 the comfort of 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 of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today and always will forever.
“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 in 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 also tweeted about the shooting earlier on Monday, saying: “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”
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A gunman, identified by authorities as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Friday night, the Washington Post reported. Witnesses said the shooter fired a fully automatic weapon from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino.
Police later found Paddock dead in a Mandalay Bay hotel room, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. Paddock is believed to have killed himself.
How to Help and Learn About Loved Ones
Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting using the hotline 1-800-536-9488.
Anyone with photo or video evidence of the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
The city of Las Vegas has established a Family Reunification Center to help connect relatives with the more than 500 people who were injured.
In addition, city officials urged those locally who wish to donate blood to visit one of two donation centers operated by United Blood Services, either at 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson, Nevada.
A victims’ fund has been started on GoFundMe by Steve Sisolak the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair. Other groups providing relief include the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Compassion Fund.