President Donald Trump on Friday night visited doctors and nurses who treated victims of Wednesday’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
The president traveled directly to North Broward Hospital from the Palm Beach International Airport, where he landed onboard Air Force One, along with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, White House chief of staff John Kelly and first lady Melania Trump.
A dozen sheriff’s cruisers were at the hospital along with Secret Service personnel.
“The job they’ve done is incredible and I want to congratulate you,” Trump said as he shook the hand of a doctor, identified as Dr. Igor Nichiporenko.
When asked, the president said he met with victims: “Yes I did. I did indeed.”
The Trumps paid their respects to medical personnel who treated some of the injured. The hallway, a long corridor with white floor tiling and off-white walls, was empty aside from a doctor and security personnel.
“It’s sad something like that could happen,” Trump said.
He said he was impressed with the speed with which first responders reacted, calling it “record-setting” and “in one case 20 minutes. It’s an incredible thing,” Trump said.
Hundreds of people were at the corner of Northwest 27th Avenue and Broward Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale for the spectacle of Trump’s motorcade arriving at the Broward Sheriff’s Office HQ.
The convoy came roaring in at 7:40 p.m.
Vivian Adams, a fifth-grade teacher at Tamarac Elementary, said she rushed out of her house as soon as she saw on the news he was going to be in near her neighborhood.
There wasn’t time to make her planned sign, which would have said, “We need gun control. We need more protection in our schools.”
Lauren Edwards, 9, said she was more interested in exploring her future career as a police officer.
“Would I block off traffic or direct people walking?” she said. “Also I didn’t know there would be snipers,” she said gesturing at the roofline of the headquarters building.
At the meeting, Trump praised law enforcement and first responders for their response to the school shooting. He said: “I’ll tell you who appreciates it, too, is the parents. Because I was at the hospital with the parents and they are very thankful for the job. They’re in really great shape considering most people would not have been. They are really thankful.”
At 8:45 p.m., the motorcade rolled from the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters.
Trump is spending the weekend at his private club and estate, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach.
© 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
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