A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police convoy escorted the body of Officer Charleston Hartfield to Palm Downtown Mortuary and Cemetery on Oct. 4. Hartfield was one of 59 people shot and killed in the mass shooting.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump met privately with victims of the Las Vegas shooting at a hospital Wednesday, praising them and the doctors who treated them as he visited a city still reeling from the worst gun massacre in modern U.S. history.
Speaking to reporters from the lobby of the University Medical Center lobby, Trump said he’d met “some of the most amazing people” — and invited them to come visit him at the White House.
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.
Trump then headed to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters, where he met with police officers and dispatchers who’d responded to the shooting. He congratulated them “on a job well done.”
“You showed the world and the world is watching,” he told them, “and you showed what professionalism is all about.”
Air Force One landed at the airport near the famed Las Vegas strip on a bright, sunny morning just days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel and casino opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival below. The Sunday night rampage killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape.
“It’s a very sad thing. We are going to pay our respects and to see the police who have done really a fantastic job in a very short time,” Trump told reporters before departing the White House. He said that authorities were “learning a lot more” about the shooter, Stephen Craig Paddock, and that more details would be “announced at an appropriate time.”
“It’s a very, very sad day for me personally,” he said.
Trump’s first stop was the University Medical Center, where he met privately with victims of the Sunday night shooting rampage, their families, and medical professionals. On his trip from the airport, the president’s motorcade drove past the Mandalay Bay hotel where the gunman fired down into the concert crowd.
The president also drove past his own Trump hotel.
Trump’s trip to Las Vegas follows his Tuesday travel to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico — a pair of back-to-back episodes that are testing his ability to unite and lift the nation in times of strife. Trump, a leader who excels at political provocation and prides himself on commanding strength, has sometimes struggled to project empathy.
During Tuesday’s trip, he highlighted Puerto Rico’s relatively low death toll compared with “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” when as many as 1,800 people died in 2005 as levees protecting New Orleans broke. He also pointed repeatedly to praise his administration had received for its efforts, despite criticism on the island of a sluggish response.
Trump has a long personal connection to Las Vegas — a city where his name is written in huge golden letters atop his hotel. He also campaigned extensively across Nevada during his presidential campaign, drawing large crowds to rallies along the Las Vegas strip.
Trump told reporters Tuesday night that his trip would include spending time with “some of the folks that are recovering, some of the survivors,” and seemed emotional as he spoke about the human toll.
“We’re going to be seeing – ah it’s a very, it’s very, it’s a very – horrible thing, even to think about. Really horrible,” he said. “We’re also meeting with the police, the sheriff, and we’re going to spend quite a lot of time in Las Vegas.”
Trump was also joined on the trip by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Nevada Republicans Rep. Mark Amodei and Sen. Dean Heller.
Trump offered somber remarks about the shooting from the White House on Monday, saying “our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence.”
Republicans who control Congress have made clear they have no intention of taking up gun control measures, such as tightening restrictions on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, in the shooting’s aftermath.
Trump, in a 2000 book, said that he supported a prohibition on assault weapons and a “slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.” He also said in 2013 that he supported “background checks to weed out the sickos.”
But Trump ran his campaign with a strong pro-Second Amendment message and the backing of the National Rifle Association.
“Gun and magazine bans are a total failure,” read one campaign policy paper. “Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like ‘assault weapons,’ ‘military-style weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans.”
On Tuesday, Trump appeared somewhat open to having a debate on guns, but not anytime soon.
“At some point, perhaps, that will come,” he told reporters. “But that’s not for now.”
The city of Las Vegas is grieving after dozens of people were killed and hundreds more injured in Sunday’s mass shooting. Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) joins CBSN’s Vladimir Duthiers in Las Vegas with more on what she’s hearing from people in her district.
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“We had to run over the bodies”: Witnesses of the the Las Vegas shooting killing 59 and injuring more than 500 speak to RT.
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Records show Stephen Paddock may have once lived in Kern County.
Over 50 dead, 200 injured in Las Vegas after deadliest shooting in modern US history
More than 50 people were killed and 200 injured when a lone gunman opened fire from a perch high up in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, police said, making it the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
The “nonstop gunfire,” according to one witness, sent bystanders outside the resort on the Vegas strip ducking for cover and scrambling for their lives.
Bystanders sprang into action, caring for the wounded and at least one described someone dying in their arms.
Police said a Las Vegas police officer who was off-duty attending the concert is among the dead.
One video showed the terrifying aftermath as the injured lay on stretchers or on the ground with responders and bystanders surrounding them to give aid. Bystanders made makeshift stretchers out of police barricades, plugged wounds with their hands and used their clothing to try to stanch the bleeding from the wounded.
PHOTO: A man lays on top of a woman as others flee the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after an active shooter was reported on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas. The woman later was seen getting up with help.
Ri Ra Las Vegas appeared on Action News at Midday to talk about their annual St. Patrick;s Day festivities.