Texas church shooting: Trump says it's mental health problem, not guns situation

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Donald Trump
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign roundtable event in Manchester, New Hampshire, US, October 28, 2016. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

On Monday, US President Donald Trump reacted on the recent mass shooting at a church in Texas that killed 26 people, saying it is not a gun situation. He instead pointed to mental health problems in the US.

The US president, who is visiting Japan, said the Texas gunman was "deranged," and that the shooting represented a "mental health problem at the highest level.” He said, “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation- we could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it.” He added it was fortunate that somebody else had a gun and was shooting in the opposite direction.

Otherwise, the US leader thought the shooting would have been much worse. He described the incident as a sad event for great people.

Speaking at the end of a two-day visit to Japan, the POTUS he sent his “thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences” to the victims. He appeared in a joint press release with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

Trump said Americans always pull together during tragic times, and are always the strongest when unified. “To the wounded and the families of the victims all of America is praying for you, supporting you and grieving alongside you,” he added, according to The Guardian.

Law enforcement officials in Sutherland Springs did not immediately name the gunman. Multiple reports from news organisations identify him as Devin Patrick Kelley.

The mass shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church is the worst in modern Texas history and one of the worst gun rampages in recent years. The shooter was found dead.

Hours after the shooting, Republican Ken Paxton told Fox News that US churches must be “arming some of the parishioners” or hiring “professional security.” He believes it is going to happen again, but if more people who goes to church were armed, “there’s always the opportunity that the gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people.”

Texas governor Greg Abbott mourns the loss of several lives. He recognised that there are so many families who have lost their loved ones, and that the shooting took place in a church.

Among those reported killed was the 14-year-old daughter of Pastor Frank Pomeroy. An 18-month-old baby and elderly worshipper were also among the victims, according to a report by Aljazeera.

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