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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019

Trump: Las Vegas shooting was 'an act of pure evil'

The US president addressed the nation following the worst mass shooting in modern US history.


US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has said the Las Vegas mass shooting was “an act of pure evil”, as he paid tribute to those who were killed in the horrific event overnight.

Speaking of “sadness, shock and grief”, Trump made his statement from the White House hours after a man named Stephen Paddock is suspected of shooting dead more than 50 people and injuring over 400 more.

“He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more,” Trump said of the shooter. “It was an act of pure evil.” He said that the FBI and US homeland security are working closely with local authorities to assist in the investigation.

He thanked Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their “courageous efforts” and for helping to save lives.

He said their actions are “something for which we will always be thankful and grateful – it shows what true professionalism is all about”.

Trump said that he and his wife Melania are praying for those who are mourning the sudden loss of a loved one due to the shooting. He said he hoped God would “see you through”.

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump at the White House - DC Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The President also evoked scripture during his speech, saying that God “lives in the heart of those who grieve”. He said that they are praying for the full and speedy recovery of those injured in the shooting, and “we pledge to you our support from this day forward”.

The American flag will be flown at half-mast due to the shooting, said Trump. He will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and families of victims.

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one – and it always has,” he said.

He added: “We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family and our shared values.”

He said that this unity “cannot be shattered by evil” and their bonds “cannot be broken by violence”.

“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,” said Trump.

Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt. We pray for the entire nation.

He said he and the First Lady also pray for “the day evil is banished”.

“God bless America,” he signed off. Trump did not take questions from the assembled media.

The gunman – named as Stephen Paddock, aged 64 – who was on an upper floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, opened fire on a large crowd at an open-air music festival in Las Vegas shortly after 10pm local time (6am Irish time).

Police believe the gunman killed himself before he was confronted by police on the 32nd floor of the hotel.

The incident is believed to be the worst mass shooting in US history.

Read: Islamic State claims responsibility for Las Vegas gun attack that killed 50>

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