WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump said a mass shooting turned a Florida high school into a “scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil.”
Addressing the nation Thursday, the president said “we are all joined together as one American family.”
“Today I speak to a nation in grief,” the president said. “Our entire nation with one heavy heart is praying for the victims and their families.”
The president said “making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority.”
“No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school,” he said. “No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.”
He did not mention guns or gun control.
Trump earlier issued a proclamation honoring the victims of the shooting. It says, “Our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones.”
A former student opened fire Wednesday at the school with an AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people and injuring 14 more. The 19-year-old was charged Thursday morning.
Trump did not speak out immediately after the shooting. He weighed in on Twitter early Thursday, calling the suspect “mentally disturbed.”
“Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem,” the president said. “Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
The president tweeted about the shooting twice on Wednesday, expressing condolences and saying he spoke with Florida’s governor.
Trump said he’ll travel to Florida meet with victims’ families, explore how to better secure schools and “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)