President Donald Trump on Thursday addressed the nation to speak about the tragic Florida school shooting that took place on Wednesday in Parkland, Florida.
Nikolas Cruz is the suspected shooter who killed 17 people and injured 15 others. Cruz arrived at Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderale for booking Thursday morning. The 19-year-old is charged with with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
“Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families,” Trump said Thursday. “We are all joined together as one American family.
“No child, no teacher should ever been in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning,” Trump continued. “Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them.”
“Today we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. We comfort the grieving and the wounded. And we hurt for the entire community of Parkland, Florida, that is now in shock and pain,” the President said, adding that he plans to visit Parkland, Florida.
Trump also directly spoke to America’s children: “I want you to know that you are never alone, and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader. Answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness.”
“We must also work together to crate a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life that creates deep and meaningful connections, and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors,” Trump added.
In learning “everything we can” from this horrible tragedy, Trump promised that “making our schools and children safer will be our top priority.”
“We must actually make that difference,” he said. “Let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.”
Watch Trump’s remarks:
Cruz is a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which has about 3,000 students. He was also reportedly part of the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program (JROTC), The New York Post reported.
He legally purchased an AR-15 rifle about a year ago.
Cruz has a history of mental illness. The Washington Post reported that Cruz was being treated at a mental health clinic but then stopped treatment, and that his mother passed away around Thanksgiving.
The troubled 19-year-old had also been expelled from the high school last year.