LAS VEGAS -- President Donald Trump will visit Las Vegas Wednesday after at least 58 people died in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
It happened Sunday night during a music festival in Las Vegas. Country star Jason Aldean was performing when shots rang out from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Police in Las Vegas said the gunman died. He was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a Nevada resident.
The president made a brief statement to the nation Monday morning, calling the shooting an act of "pure evil" and offering comfort to those affected by the tragedy. He said the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were working closely with local authorities to assist in the investigation.
He thanked first responders for their quick response, saying they saved lives by finding the gunman quickly.
"I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life," he said.
The president directed that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of those killed and wounded in the attack.
"Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one: a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss," he said. "To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period."
He called for national unity in the face of the tragedy.
"In moments of tragedy and horror America comes together as one, and it always has. 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," he 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."
The president also tweeted his condolences earlier in the day:
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence also weighed in, writing that he and his wife were praying for those affected by the shooting and saying "the hearts and prayers of the American people are with you."
To victims, families & loved ones affected by this senseless violence in Las Vegas, Karen & I are praying for you & offering our love...
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 2, 2017
...The hearts & prayers of the American people are with you. You have our condolences and sympathies.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 2, 2017
To the courageous first responders, thank you for your acts of bravery.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 2, 2017
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval called the shooting a "tragic and heinous act of violence" that has "shaken the Nevada family." He offered his prayers to all the victims.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been investigating the shooting and providing updates. The LVMPD offered its condolences to families affected by the tragedy and said the department's "thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy."
Our condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones tonight. Thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragedy.
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 2, 2017
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) issued this statement:
The shooting in Las Vegas is heartbreaking and horrifying. Praying for all those who lost their lives and who were injured, along with their families. And, we thank the first responders and law enforcement officers, who saved so many lives.
Statement from Rep. Andre Carson (D IN-07):
“I join Americans and the world in mourning the victims of last night’s shooting in Las Vegas. While I pray for their families during this incredibly difficult time, they deserve more than our ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They, like all Americans, deserve to live in a country that values their lives enough to take decisive action to stop gun violence.
“Protecting our constitutional right to bear arms does not mean giving free rein to dangerous people to purchase the deadliest weapons on the market. We need to stop hiding behind the false narrative that enacting common sense gun policies somehow limits the rights of law abiding Americans. Every day that we fail to act puts more innocent lives at risk. It is long past time to fix our gun laws. Congress has a moral responsibility to act and address the daily tragedy of gun violence in our communities.
“Last week, Republicans planned to vote on a bill that would loosen gun laws, instead of strengthening them. In light of the tragedy in Las Vegas, and the ongoing tragedy of gun violence in America, this could not be more inappropriate. The American people deserve a vote on legislation that will curb gun violence, including reinstating an assault weapons ban and instituting new restrictions on gun trafficking.”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued this statement:
“I join millions of Americans today in mourning the deaths of those lost last night in a senseless act of violence in Las Vegas. I join them, as well, in praying for the speedy recovery of everyone injured in the attack. In time, elected leaders and policymakers must sift through the aftermath of this tragic event to consider how we might protect lives going forward. For today, let us take time to grieve – and to lift up in prayer all those most personally affected by this horrible massacre of innocent people.”
Pacers Sports & Entertainment issued this statement about Bankers Life Fieldhouse:
"Pacers Sports & Entertainment extends its most-heartfelt sympathies to the victims and their families of the horrific and senseless violence that occurred in Las Vegas Sunday night. Bankers Life Fieldhouse has no higher priority than the safety of its guests before, during and after events. The tragic incident in Las Vegas caused Bankers Life Fieldhouse to automatically and immediately enhance its already stringent security standards which include those seen by the public and many others not in public view. We continue to work closely with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to monitor any threat and will continue vigilant measures to any extent necessary. We do ask that those who attend events here and elsewhere be cognizant of their surroundings and to say something if they see something and immediately report any suspicious activity to a staff member or law enforcement official."
President Trump's full statement:
My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief. Last night, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people, and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.
I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts, and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of life. 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.
Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one -- a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims: We are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.
Scripture teaches us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted 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. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.
In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff.
I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims.
In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one -- and it always has. 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.
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. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.
Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded, or lost the ones they love so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace. And we pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost. May God give us the grace of healing. And may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on.
Thank you. God bless America. Thank you.