President Donald Trump alluded to the local Texas resident who responded to the church shooter with his own rifle, helping cut short the horrific event.
“Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction. Otherwise … it would’ve been much worse,” Trump said during a press conference in Japan:
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 6, 2017
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the local resident who engaged the gunman at the Sutherland Springs church, caused the shooter to flee in his vehicle before running off the road and dying from a gunshot wound.
Trump’s remarks came during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when asked by the media if he would support any policies to end gun violence. The president stressed that he deemed it a mental health problem.
“I think that mental health is your problem here,” he said, pointing to reports of the shooter as “a very deranged individual.”
The shooter was court-martialed from the Air Force in 2012 for two counts of assault on his wife and child.
“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, but this isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said. “I mean, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it.”
Twenty-six people were killed in the church shooting, and 20 were injured.
Trump said the shooting was a tragedy caused by a “mental health problem at the highest level.”
“It’s a very, very sad event. These are great people and a very, very sad event, but that’s the way I view it,” he said. “Thank you.”