Donald Trump says Texas shooting was caused by ‘mental health’ issue, rejects calls for new gun laws
President Trump said Monday that the Texas church shooting was caused by a “mental health problem” and he doesn’t believe stricter gun laws would have prevented the tragedy.
“Mental health is your problem here,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Japan, noting that preliminary reports indicate the shooter was “a very deranged individual.”
Police said gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, killed at least 26 people at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, and wounded dozens of others. Kelley was found dead later from a gunshot wound.
As he did after the mass shooting in Las Vegas last month, the president said the Second Amendment isn’t the problem.
“This isn’t a guns situation,” Mr. Trump said in the joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event, but that’s the way I view it.”
Earlier Monday, Mr. Trump described the Texas shooting as an “act of evil” and called it “horrific.”
“This act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of sacred worship,” he said. “We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel, and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they love.”
The president urged Americans to show unity and compassion.
“We pull together. We join hands, we lock arms and through the tears and through the sadness we stand strong, oh so strong,” Mr. Trump said.