As reactions poured in Thursday to the nation’s deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years, President Donald Trump focused on the young man’s mental health, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he wants the Justice Department to study how mental illness and gun violence intersect, and figure out how law enforcement can better use existing gun laws to intervene before these school shootings happen.
“It cannot be denied that something dangerous and unhealthy is happening in our country,” Sessions told a group of sheriffs in Washington. In “every one of these cases, we’ve had advance indications and perhaps we haven’t been effective enough in intervening.”
Fourteen wounded survivors remained hospitalized as bodies were recovered from inside and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Trump lamented in a tweet that there were “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
Trump also issued a proclamation saying, in part, “Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones,” and planned to address the nation about the shooting. Pope Francis sent a telegram of prayer and condolences, and the New York Stock Exchange held a minute of silence after its opening bell.
Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 used in the attack about a year ago, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. The officials, not authorized to discuss this publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity. Federal law allows people 18 and older to legally purchase long guns, including this kind of assault weapon.
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