- President Donald Trump addressed the nation on the latest mass shooting on Thursday.
- A gunman killed at least 17 students and staff at a Florida high school on Wednesday, injuring more than a dozen others.
- Trump tweeted on the shooting earlier Thursday.
President Donald Trump addressed the nation at 11 a.m. ET Thursday following a horrific school shooting in Florida that left at least 17 people killed and more than a dozen injured.
“Today I speak to a nation in grief,” he said.
Trump had yet to speak publicly on the school shooting, which took place at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Broward County, Florida, since the gunman opened fire on students and staff Wednesday afternoon.
“Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred, and evil,” Trump said at the beginning of his address.
He insisted that no students should fear attending an American school.
“We hurt for the entire community of Parkland, Florida, that is now in pain and searching for answers,” he said.
Trump then sought to speak directly to “America’s children.”
“You are never alone, and you never will be,” he said. “You have people who care about you, who love you, and will do anything to protect you.”
Trump said he is making plans to visit Parkland, Florida, to meet with families and officials involved in the response. He added that he will meet with the nation’s governors and attorney generals later this month to focus on making schools safer.
“It is not enough to take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference – we must actually make that difference,” he said.
Trump tweeted about the shooting earlier Thursday morning.
“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior,” he wrote. “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that his “prayers and condolences” went out to the victims’ families.
“No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” he wrote.
Suspect Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, shot students and staff at the school with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, police said. Some lawmakers have already called for new regulations and congressional action in the aftermath of the shooting. Meanwhile, others have said there shouldn’t be a “knee-jerk” reaction to the violence.
At a conference of county sheriffs in Washington, DC, Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised “we’re going to do something” and “we can and must do better” in the aftermath of the latest school shooting.
“It cannot be denied that something dangerous and unhealthy is happening our country,” he said.
This post is being updated.