President Trump Calls for Unity After ‘Act of Pure Evil’ in Las Vegas

"Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence."

By Liberty McArtor Published on October 2, 2017

President Donald Trump called for unity on Monday from the White House in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Calling the attack an “act of pure evil,” Trump offered prayers and encouragement for those grieving the dead and wounded.

Late Sunday night Stephen Craig Paddock, age 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He killed at least 58 people and wounded over 500. His target was a crowd of 22,000 gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival across the street. Country singer Jason Aldean was performing at the time of the attack.

“We are joined together today in sadness shock and grief,” Trump said at the beginning of his brief statement. “The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation.” 

Trump went on to thank law enforcement and first responders “for helping to save the lives of so many.”

“The speed with which they acted was miraculous and prevented further loss of life,” he said. 

The president went on to cite words of comfort from the Bible.

“Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” he said. “We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those that grieve.”

Trump will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday, where he said he will meet with local law enforcement, first responders and families of victims. He also announced that the American flag will be flown at half staff until Friday.

The President ended his remarks with a call for Americans to unite.

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

We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. 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.

The White House announced that the president and first lady will lead a moment of silence Monday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. local time.

Twitter Reaction from the Political World

Early Monday morning, Trump tweeted his “warmest condolences and sympathies” after the shooting.

Vice President Mike Pence offered prayers and love from himself and Second Lady Karen Pence. He also thanked the “courageous first responders.”

Former President Barack Obama called the shooting a “senseless tragedy.” He tweeted that he and former First Lady Michelle Obama are praying for the victims.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan tweeted his statement on the attack. “To the people of Las Vegas and to the families of the victims, we are with you during this time. The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences, and in our prayers.” He also ordered flags over the Capitol to be flown at half staff.

Authorities have not yet released a motive for the shooting. Reports indicate that Paddock’s mother and brother are shocked and had no inclination that he was planning or would carry out a murderous attack. The Islamic State claimed Paddock as an ISIS “soldier” Monday morning hours after the shooting, but provided no evidence.

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