PARKLAND, Fla. (CBS4) — Investigators provided a live update on the investigation into Wednesday’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, ahead of scheduled remarks by President Donald Trump.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the families of the 17 victims who were killed have all been notified.
The 19-year-old suspect is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Copycat threats have been already been made, the sheriff said, warning that they would “respond with full power to any threats and copycats will be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.”
Shortly after the news conference, President Trump gave remarks from the White House.
“Our entire nation with one heavy heart is praying for the victims and their families,” Trump said.
“To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain,” the president said. “We are all joined together as one American family and your suffering is our burden also. No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school,” he continued.
Trump said he wanted to speak directly to students who may feel confused or afraid.
“I want to speak now directly to America’s children. Especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared. I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be,” he said.
“We must work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life,” Trump said. “Answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness.”
The president said that more must be done to “tackle” the issue of mental illness in America but did not mention gun violence.
Sheriff Israel did, however, bring up the topic, saying “while people in this country with mental health issues are being treated they should not be able to buy, surround themselves, purchase or carry a hand gun. Those two things don’t mix.”
Officials said there have been several fraudulent GoFundMe accounts set up, but the fundraising site has guaranteed that all the donations will go to the victims and their families. Here is the official page: gofundme.com/stonemandouglasvictimsfund