What to Know
- At least 17 people were shot and killed on Wednesday at a South Florida high school.
- The accused gunman used an AR-15 firearm, police said.
- A report indicates the accused gunman may confess to avoid the death penalty.
President Donald Trump met with injured victims and first responders from the Parkland school shooting Friday, congratulating the first responders for an "incredible" job but not responding to a question on whether gun laws need to be changed.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump reached Broward Health North Hospital to pay their respects to victims and to thank medical staff helping keep the nine people who were injured, several critically, alive.
Trump's visit comes two days after Nikolas Cruz, who police said confessed, allegedly killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Trump's meeting with the press pool at the hospital was brief.
"First responders, everybody – the job they've done is incredible," Trump said, flanked by a hospital official and the first lady.
Trump, who confirmed he met with victims, remarked on the efficiency with which victims were quickly taken to the hospital after the shooting.
"Do our gun laws need to be changed, Mr. President?" one reporter asked as Trump and his delegation, which included White House chief of staff John Kelly, walked away.
After leaving the hospital, Trumps met with Broward County Sheriff's Office officials, including Sheriff Scott Israel and Det. Richard Olson, whose son Will was shot in the onslaught.
While speaking at BSO headquarters, where Florida Gov. Rick Scott was also present, the first lady emphasized that the victims must be cared for.
"Thank you all for what you do, and saving our children. That's the most important – they're our future, and let's take care of them because they will go through a lot from what they experienced two days ago and we need to take care of them," the first lady said.
Trump's visit comes amid heightened calls for gun reform in the United States — a common reaction in recent years following U.S. mass shootings.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was aboard Air Force One, which landed at Palm Beach International Airport.
"I will be leaving for Florida today to meet with some of the bravest people on earth – but people whose lives have been totally shattered. Am also working with Congress on many fronts," Trump had written on Twitter.