President Trump denounced hate and blamed mental illness as he spoke publicly late yesterday afternoon for the first time since two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in less than 24 hours left 29 people dead and injured some 50 others, making his remarks to reporters as he left his New Jersey golf resort to return to Washington.Trump ["Hate has no place in our country. And we're going to take care of it. It's really not talked about very much, but we've done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done. But this is also a mental illness problem. If you look at both of these cases, this is mental illness. These are really people that are very, very seriously mentally ill."] Trump said he'd been speaking to the attorney general, the FBI director and members of Congress, and will be making a further statement today.
- Some 13 hours after the El Paso shooting, a man identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, who was wearing body armor and mask, opened fire in Dayton's popular downtown nightclub district around 1 a.m., using a .223-caliber rifle with a magazine capable of holding at least 100 rounds of ammunition. He killed nine people, including his 22-year-old sister, and injured at least 26 others, before being shot and killed by police just 30 seconds after he began shooting, brought down steps away from the entrance to Ned Peppers Bar, which was full of people. Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl praised his officers, saying it could have been much worse without them:["Their professionalism, their quickness, their amazing courage and their response undoubtedly saved many, many, many lives. We will never know how many lives were saved. The assailant was obviously very, very close to being able to kill dozens and dozens more people."] There's no known motive yet for the shooting, but media reports cited former classmates as saying Betts had been suspended from high school for having a "hit list" of students he wanted to kill and a "rape list" for girls he wanted to sexually assault. Hundreds of people held a vigil last night on the same street to honor the victims, during which they repeated their names of those killed, sang "Amazing Grace" and released doves. But while Republican Governor Mike DeWine was speaking, they interrupted him to chant, "Do something!"
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