Trump: ‘America a nation in mourning’
October 4, 2017
LAS VEGAS — Visiting bedsides and the base of police operations, President Donald Trump offered prayers and condolences Wednesday to the victims of Sunday night's shooting massacre in Las Vegas along with praise and congratulations to first responders and doctors who rushed to save lives.
"America is truly a nation in mourning," the president said, days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel and casino opened fire on the crowd at an outdoor country music festival below. The rampage killed at least 59 people and injured 527, many from gunfire, others from chaotic efforts to escape.
"We cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that incites such terror," Trump declared at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters, reading from prepared remarks. "We are defined by our love, our caring and our courage."
Trump and first lady Melania Trump met privately earlier with victims of the shooting at a hospital, praising them and the doctors who treated them as he visited the reeling city.
He also met with police officers, dispatchers and others who had responded to the shooting Sunday night, telling them: "You showed the world and the world is watching, and you showed what professionalism is all about."
He waved off questions about the availability of firearms — the shooter had a veritable arsenal of weapons — saying this is not the time to discuss the possibility of further restrictions.
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Trump's first stop was the University Medical Center, where he spent 90 minutes meeting privately with victims, their families, and medical professionals.
He said he'd met "some of the most amazing people" — and had extended some invitations to visit him in Washington.
He also commended the doctors who'd worked to save them for doing an "indescribable" job.
"It makes you very proud to be an American when you see the job that they've done," he said.
GIRLFRIEND HAD NO CLUE
The girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman said Wednesday she had no idea of the massacre he was plotting when he sent her on a trip abroad to see her family.
Marilou Danley issued the statement after returning from her native Philippines and being questioned for much of the day by FBI agents. She was out of the country for more than two weeks.
She said she was initially pleased when Stephen Paddock wired her money in the Philippines to buy a house for her family, but she later feared it was a way to break up with her.
"It never occurred to me in any whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone," Danley said in a statement read by her attorney Matthew Lombard outside FBI headquarters in Los Angeles.
She also said: "He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen."
Nevada gambling regulators are poring through records to try to find out more about the high stakes gambler who fatally shot 59 people attending a country music festival in Las Vegas.
GAMING CONTINUES INVESTIGATION
Investigators with the state's Gaming Control Board are looking for any disputes Stephen Paddock may have had as a casino patron and for mandatory transaction reports he made involving more than $10,000.
Board chairman A.G. Burnett said in an interview that investigators so far can't characterize his gambling habits.
They're also looking for information about Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley.
Burnett says board investigators can obtain records about players from casinos and their corporate owners.
He says the FBI also has access to that information.
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