President Donald Trump and other U.S. leaders are offering their support after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 injured in Las Vegas Sunday night.
“It was an act of pure evil,” Trump said at a Monday press conference. He added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security were working closely with Las Vegas law enforcement authorities in the ongoing investigation.
The shooting began Sunday night at a concert at Mandalay Bay Casino. Law enforcement officials have identified the shooter as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, and said he opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
The President concluded his remarks by saying that he prayed for “the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe.”
Earlier on Monday, Trump had offered support via Twitter to all the victims and families of the attack.
“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” Trump tweeted.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted out his support as well: “To victims, families & loved ones affected by this senseless violence in Las Vegas, Karen & I are praying for you & offering our love. The hearts and prayers of the American people are with you. You have our condolences and sympathies.”
Former President Barack Obama also offered his condolences Monday, tweeting: “Michelle & I are praying for the victims in Las Vegas. Our thoughts are with their families & everyone enduring another senseless tragedy.”
Support poured in from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, including Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. “Senseless, horrifying act of violence in Las Vegas tonight,” Heller tweeted. “Praying for all the victims & those impacted by the tragedy,” and he added
Nevada’s Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto also weighed in on the tragedy, offering prayers and support on Twitter and thanking the first-responders for their courage. “Praying for all those affected by this senseless tragedy. Thank you to all the first responders. I will continue to monitor the situation,” she said.
Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval offered support in an official statement, saying: ““My heart and prayers go the victims and their families and friends who were brutally killed and injured by a shocking and cowardly act of senseless violence. This tragic and vicious attack on innocent people has claimed the lives of our fellow Americans and devastated hundreds of others who were simply enjoying a country music festival.”
As the outpouring of support continued Monday morning, some started calling for gun control legislation to immediately be drafted in response to the tragedy.
Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who has championed stricter gun regulations ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, lambasted fellow lawmakers for their inaction on gun control after first offering his support for the victims and families.
“To my colleagues: your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayer,” Murphy said on Twitter. “None of this ends unless we do something to stop it.”
Gun control groups Everytown and Moms Demand Action condemned the shooting in a statement, with Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts calling for action on gun control as a response.
“Americans should be able to go to concerts, to night clubs, to elementary schools and movie theaters without worrying about the threat of gun violence,” Watts said. “While we grieve for the 50 people shot and killed and the more than 400 who are hospitalized, we must also act in their honor. Gun violence is preventable.”
Hillary Clinton also joined in on the calls for more gun control and took to Twitter to blast the National Rifle Association, specifically their push to loosen restrictions on suppressors.
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get,” Clinton said. “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
Grant Stinchfield of NRA-TV Monday morning urged members in the Las Vegas area to donate blood to try and help the victims.
“You cannot put words to the unbelievable tragedy here,” he said. “A common theme, though, among those news comments was the heroism of first-responders. Those involved in saving what is now believed to be hundreds of lives.”
DHS officials noted in a statement that while there will be increased security in public places, there are no other credible threats that they are aware of elsewhere in the country.