President Donald Trump made brief remarks Tuesday morning on Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying the response to the attack that killed at least 59 and wounded more than 500 others was a “miracle.”
“Look, we have a tragedy,” Trump told reporters as he prepared to depart for Puerto Rico, where he is set to survey the storm-damaged island. “And what happened in Las Vegas is, in many ways, a miracle. The police department has done such an incredible job.”
Trump said he won’t yet talk about gun issues in the wake of the attack, which is now the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” Trump said. “But I — but I do have to say, how quickly the police department was able to get in was, really, very much of a miracle. They’ve done an amazing job.”
According to NBC News, it took law enforcement 72 minutes to reach the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who was firing shots out of a window at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Trump called Paddock “a sick man, a demented man” who had “a lot of problems.”
“We are looking into him very, very seriously,” Trump said of Paddock. “But we’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.”
On Monday, the day after the attack, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was not appropriate to talk about gun control so soon after the shooting.
“There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country,” Sanders said at Monday’s White House press briefing. “It would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts or what took place last night.”
However that hasn’t stopped Trump from talking politics and policy solutions after past attacks, especially ones carried out by Islamic extremists.
For example, after an improvised explosive devise partially detonated on a train in London last month, injuring 18 people, Trump took the opportunity to promote his travel ban.
“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” Trump tweeted. “The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific — but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”