President Donald Trump addressed first responders and emergency personnel in Las Vegas Wednesday, where he lauded their courage in the wake of a mass shooting late Sunday that left 58 victims dead and more than 500 injured.
"America is truly a nation in mourning," Trump said. "But in the depths of horror, we will find hope in the men and women who risk their lives for us."
The president struck a subdued tone throughout his seven minute-long remarks, which were delivered to an audience of officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
"Americans defied death and hatred with love and courage," the president said, and "dashed into a hail of bullets to rescue perfect strangers.
"As everyone was crouching, police officers were standing up as targets to help those in danger, and to find where those horrible shots were coming from," Trump said, "and we grieve the loss of the law enforcement personnel who were killed in this vicious attack."
Police identified the shooter as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a Nevada resident who later committed suicide in his hotel room. According to police, Paddock opened fire late Sunday night on concert-goers from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Authorities have yet to identify a motive for the shooting.
Trump did not focus on the crime, except to say that, "we cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that incites such terror."
At times, the speech sounded like a sermon. "We know that your sorrow feels endless … but you are not alone, and we will never leave your side," Trump said.
"Those whose final act was to sacrifice themselves should inspire all of us to show more love for the people who grace our lives."
Trump was accompanied to Nevada by First Lady Melania Trump and members of his administration, including White House National Security Adviser Tom Bossert. Earlier in the day, Trump and the first lady visited a hospital where many of the wounded received treatment.