President Donald Trump called Stephen Paddock, the suspect in the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night that left 59 dead and over 500 injured, a “very, very sick individual,” and said the local police response to the emergency was “a miracle.”
“He was a sick man, a demented man, a lot of problems, I guess,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday morning. “We’re looking into him very seriously, but we’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.”
He praised the Las Vegas Police Department’s “amazing” response.
“What happened in Las Vegas is in many ways a miracle,” he said. “The police department has done such an incredible job.”
The president refused to answer questions about whether the attack was domestic terrorism and brushed off questions about gun control, saying, “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”
Trump is visiting Puerto Rico on Tuesday and will fly to Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, using the elevated vantage point to fire into the crowds across the Las Vegas Strip at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
Soon after the shooting, which began at 10:08 p.m. PDT, a SWAT team stormed the building, forced their way into his hotel room, and found the gunman already dead. Officers believe he was the only attacker, and that he killed himself before they arrived. Police found at least 10 suitcases full of weapons in the room.
Paddock, a 64-year-old former real estate investor, had a high-limit online poker habit and lived a comfortable life in a Nevada retirement community outside Las Vegas.