Thursday , June 21, 2018

Trump calls church shooting 'act of evil'

TOKYO -- President Donald Trump said a Texas church shooting that left 26 dead was an "act of evil" and promised his administration's full support to the investigation.

Speaking to US and Japanese business leaders in Tokyo on Monday during his Asian trip, Trump expressed his sorrow over what he called a "horrific shooting" at a "place of sacred worship."

Trump said that "our hearts are broken but in dark times — and these are dark times — such as these, Americans do what they do best." He said Americans will pull together to help the suffering and he pledged to continue monitoring the investigation during his lengthy Asian tour.

READ: 26 killed in church attack in Texas

He also ordered that US flags be flown at half-staff to honor those killed in the mass shooting at a Texas church.

Trump, who is in the midst of a lengthy tour of Asia, issued a proclamation late Sunday ordering that American flags flown at the White House, all public buildings and grounds, and military posts be flown at half-staff through sunset on Thursday.

The attack happened Sunday morning when a man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a church in a small South Texas community, killing 26 people and wounding at least 16 others in what the governor called the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also offered his condolences, saying on Twitter: "I offer my deepest condolences for those who lost their lives in the incident that occurred in the US state of Texas."

He added: "My thoughts are with those who suffered injuries in the incident."

The shooting comes just over a month after a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of a hotel-casino, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500. Trump traveled to Las Vegas several days after to meet with families of victims and first responders. (AP)