President Donald Trump announced he will visit the families of victims of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida in the coming days during a Thursday address to the nation.
“I am making plans to visit Parkland to meet with families and local officials and to continue coordinating the federal response,” Trump said. The president is scheduled to deliver a speech in Florida Friday and will likely spend the weekend at his residence in Mar-A-Lago, Florida which is approximately 40 miles from the site of the shooting.
The gunman, 19 year old former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 students and teachers during a calculated rampage. Cruz reportedly had a history of troubling behavior and mental health issues, and at one point was expelled from school.
“I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused, or even scared. 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,” the president said.
Trump closed his remarks lamenting mental health issues, saying, “Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health. Later this month I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority.”