Trump Visits Shooting Victims, First Responders In Las Vegas
Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET
President Trump says the people of Las Vegas have shown the world their character, courage and resolve in the wake of Sunday's shooting massacre.
The president and first lady visited Las Vegas on Wednesday to show support for the victims as well as the people who cared for them.
"The only message I can say is that we're with you 100 percent," Trump said at University Medical Center, were dozens of the wounded were being treated. As he spoke, the president was surrounded by doctors and nurses in lab coats and scrubs.
"I have to tell you, it makes you very proud to be an American when you see the job that they've done," Trump said. "And people who would not be around today are up there and they'll be leaving the hospital in a week or two weeks or five weeks."
The medical center treated 100 patients Sunday night and admitted 50.
"We couldn't be more proud of the community's response," said Dr. John Fildes, the trauma center's medical director. "Every hospital took serious patients. Everybody took care of them well."
Later, the Trumps visited a police command center. Several officers had tears in their eyes as the president spoke.
"While everyone else was crouching, police officers were standing up as targets just trying to direct people and tell them where to go," Trump said. "Words cannot describe the bravery that the whole world witnessed on Sunday night."
Charles Hartfield, an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, was among the dead.
The president also praised the heroism of paramedics, ordinary citizens and some of the shooting victims themselves.
"Some of them were very badly wounded, and they were badly wounded because they refused to leave," he said. "People leaving ambulances to have somebody else go because they thought they were hurt even more so."
Trump said he's been getting regular updates on the shooting, which left at least 58 people dead and hundreds of others injured. Authorities have been learning more about the gunman, the president said, although the investigation has yet to uncover a motive.
"We're looking, I can tell you," Trump said. "It's a very sick man. He was a very demented person."
The president, who won the support of the National Rifle Association in last year's campaign, brushed aside a reporter's question about whether the country has a problem with gun violence.
"We're not going to talk about that today," Trump said.
Democratic lawmakers rallied outside the Capitol on Wednesday in support of gun safety legislation.
"How many more dead bodies will it take to wake up this Congress?" asked Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. "This must stop and it must stop now."
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.