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Donald Trump Orders Flags Lowered to Half-Staff in Response to Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting

Donald Trump Route 91 Harvest Festival statement
Drew Angerer, Getty Images

Around 10:30AM ET on Monday morning (Oct. 2), President Donald Trump addressed the nation in light of the shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. More than 50 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured in the incident, making the shooting the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Trump began, before recounting the facts of the shooting. He then called the incident “an act of pure evil.”

During his speech, Trump offered his gratitude to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the first responders “for their courageous efforts.”

“The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life,” he added.

Trump also offered condolences to the loved ones of those dead and wounded, and noted that flags will be flown at half staff in their honor.

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one, as it always has,” Trump said. “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil … It is our love that defines us today and always will, forever.”

Earlier on Monday, Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”

Country Stars Respond Following Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting

A single shooter, who has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nev., was positioned in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and shooting from above the crowd, gathered outside Mandalay at Las Vegas Village. Police believe he killed himself before they entered his hotel room.

Paddock was not known to police, and police do not believe, at this point, that Paddock had links to terrorist groups. Police have also identified a woman believed to be an accomplice in the shooting; however, she has been located out of the country and was not with Paddock at the time of the shooting.

Jason Aldean, who was headlining the final night of the three-day festival, was performing when the shooting began, shortly after 10PM local time. Chris Young and Jake Owen were both also among those at the festival when the incident began. They tweeted out messages to their families and fans while taking cover.

“We were close to the stages — about six rows from the front on the lefthand side, and [Aldean] was just performing,” concert attendee Rachel Dekerf describes to CNN. “The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn’t stop. We just ran for our lives.”

Other artists who performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which ran Sept. 29-Oct. 1, include Sam Hunt, Eric Church, Maren Morris, the Brothers Osborne and Luke Combs.

Remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Victims

NEXT: The Latest on the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting

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