President Trump in Florida, meets with school shooting victims and first responders

PARKLAND, Fla. -- President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, aiming to honor the victims of Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, visited Broward Health North Hospital on Friday, the hospital where many of the victims were treated.

Trump told reporters at the hospital that he spoke to victims of the shooting, adding that it is "very sad something like that could happen."

The President, during the brief exchange, also heralded the efforts of hospital staff and first responders to save lives.

"It's an incredible thing," he said of the speed with which people were taken for treatment at the hospital after being wounded. "I want to congratulate them."

A White House statement said that the Trumps were visiting "to pay their respects and thank the medical professionals for their life-saving assistance" in response to shooting.

The Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 people. Many of those injured were taken to Broward Health North Hospital, including the shooter in the attack. The hospital, a level two trauma center, is nine miles from the high school.

**Continuing coverage on the shooting**

The President also met with first responders at the Broward Sheriff's Office, to thank them for their bravery.

President Trump at Broward Sheriff's Office on 2/16/18

Before departing for Florida, Trump wrote on Twitter that he was meeting "some of the bravest people on earth - but people whose lives have been totally shattered." He also wrote he was "working with Congress on many fronts" but did not provide details, nor even specify if he was referring to gun control.


"I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be," the President said as he addressed the nation Thursday. "You have people who care about you, who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you."

In stopping near the scene of the massacre, Trump is following a well-worn pattern of presidents jetting to communities reeling from tragedy and attempting words of solace.