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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump visited victims of this week's mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. Friday evening, making stops at Broward County hospital and then sheriff's department where he praised the "incredible" work of law enforcement and first responders.
"It's very sad something like that could happen," Trump said of the shooting following the incident that resulted in the deaths of 17 students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as he left the hospital Friday.
Though he did take two questions from a small group of reporters, he walked away as a third question was asked about if gun laws should be changed in light of this latest mass shooting.
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Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump met with victims during his stop at Broward Health North Hospital. The president later said that one of the young women he met with was shot four times and had "no chance" but with the work of law enforcement, first responders, and medical staff she pulled through.
"What a job you've done," Trump told the room law enforcement officers from various agencies Friday night. "You deserve credit." He added that they all deserved a raise, while also singling out the officer who actually apprehended the alleged shooter.
"Very few people could've done what you did," Trump said.
The president also visited the Broward County sheriff's office, where he was greeted by Sheriff Scott Israel, and joined by some of the state's top elected officials, Republican Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Senator Marco Rubio.
Trump said the visit was initially planned for Sunday or Monday, but he insisted it be sooner.
"We didn't want to wait" to come visit, the president said. He also made note of his long ties to Florida, and the fact that he owns property "right up the road" in Palm Beach.
Trump first tweeted his condolences to shooting victims Wednesday afternoon, followed by social media posts and televised remarks Thursday in which he vowed future action on mental health, but made no mention of guns.
The Trumps left Washington for Florida Friday afternoon. They will spend the rest of the weekend in the state at Trump's Mar a Lago club.