WASHINGTON- Congressional leaders on Wednesday offered condolences and emphasized solidarity following a deadly mass shooting at a south Florida high school.
“This is an unspeakable tragedy. It is nothing short of true evil to attack innocent children. While we now wait to learn more, we are so grateful to law enforcement and all those who brought this horror to an end. Let us all keep the victims in our hearts. A long night lies ahead for many families. Right now, the whole country is standing with the Parkland community,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement.
Seventeen people were killed Wednesday afternoon when a gunman opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Police charged Nikolas Cruz, 19 with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday morning. Cruz, a former student, was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, according to media reports.
I'm deeply saddened by the horrific violence in Florida. Praying for the victims, their families, and the Parkland community. Always grateful for first responders who charge into harm’s way.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) February 15, 2018
Another shooting in our schools, today at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Yes, our children are resilient, but this is not a burden they should ever have to bear. My heart aches for these children & their families. #StopGunViolence
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 14, 2018
“Our hearts ache for the people of Parkland, Florida and the entire Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “Our deepest gratitude goes out to the heroic first responders who provided aid and comfort to those in need. As the families and friends of the victims mourn and others wait for word from their loved ones, Americans everywhere share in their shock and grief.”
Pelosi called on Congress to pass new gun control legislation.
“Congress has a moral responsibility to take common sense action to prevent the daily tragedy of gun violence in communities across America,” she said. “Enough is enough.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who is a vocal proponent of gun control, spoke on the Senate floor as news of the shooting broke. Murphy said mass shootings are unique to the U.S. and that Congress is to blame for its “inaction.”