Photo: The White House via MGN

Trump to visit Parkland, Florida in wake of school shooting

President Trump says that he plans to leave for Florida on Friday where he plans to visit the site of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

Mr. Trump tweeted that he plans to leave for Florida Friday “to meet with some of the bravest people on earth – but people whose lives have been totally shattered.”

The president said on Thursday that he was making plans to visit Parkland, Florida to meet with families and local officials and to continue coordinating the federal response.

In a brief statement to the nation from the White House Thursday morning, Mr. Trump said that more must be done to “tackle” the issue of mental illness in the U.S., but he made no mention of the prevalence of guns or gun violence.

“Today, I speak to a nation in grief,” Mr. Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Room. “Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil.”

“To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain,” the president said. “We are all joined together as one American family and your suffering is our burden also. No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school.”

The nation must work to “tackle” the issue of mental illness, said the president, who added that he’ll be meeting with governors and attorneys general to discuss what can be done to keep schools and students safe, which he said will be their “top priority.”

Nikolas Jacob Cruz, an orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning after being questioned for hours by state and federal authorities following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years. Fifteen wounded survivors were hospitalized as bodies were recovered from inside and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Author: Rebecca Shabad, CBS News
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