- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2017

President Trump said Monday the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed more than 50 people and wounded hundreds, the worst in U.S. history, was “an act of pure evil.”

“He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more,” Mr. Trump said of the gunman. “It was an act of pure evil.”

Mr. Trump said even more people would have been killed at the country-music concert if not for the bravery and professionalism of first responders.

“The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of life,” he said. “To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired, is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about.”

The president, speaking in a televised address at the White House, offered sympathy to the families of the victims, saying “we are praying for you and we are here for you.”

“We ask God to help see you through this very dark period,” Mr. Trump said. “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 that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”

The president ordered U.S. flags flown at half-staff through Friday, and said he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with families, law-enforcement officials and first responders.

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one,” he said. “It is our love that defines us today and always will forever.”

He said at such “senseless” moments, “the answers do not come easy.”

“We call upon the bonds that unite us — our faith, our family and our shared values,” Mr. Trump said. “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.”

He added, “Melania and I are praying for every American that has been hurt. We pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.”

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