President Trump issues statement to families of victims in newspaper shooting


An unidentified mourner grieves at a small memorial set up at the entrance of 888 Bestgate Road on Friday, June 29, 2018. A gunman blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis with a shotgun Thursday afternoon, killing five people and injuring two others, authorities said. (Jen Rynda/Capital Gazette/TNS)

By Matt Durr,

June 29–WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump issued his first public comments Friday regarding the mass murder at The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland Thursday.

In a brief statement, Trump said the shooting “shocked” the conscious of the nation.

“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs,” Trump said.


He also addressed the families of the five people killed in the shooting, four of which were journalists at the paper and the fifth being a sales assistant with the company.

“There are no words to express our sorrow for your loss. Horrible, horrible event, horrible thing happened and you’re suffering,” Trump said. “We pledge our eternal support. The suffering is so great, I’ve seen some of the people.”

He went on to say “my government” will not rest until the have done whatever they can to protect innocent life and reduce violent crime.

The comments are a stark contrast to what Trump typically has said about members of the media, having previously called journalists “the enemy of the people” and using his ever popular term “fake news” to describe outlets he disagrees with.

Trump has also mocked the physical appearance of some reporters and speculated about loosening libel laws in order to be able to sue journalists.

The suspect in the shooting has a long history with The Capital Gazette, having sued the newspaper and a reporter unsuccessfully in the past for defamation. Neither the reporter or the editor of the newspaper at the time of the lawsuit were employed by newspaper when Thursday’s shooting took place.