President Donald Trump said a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday “shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief.”
“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump said at a tax event in the East Room.
Trump said his administration would continue working to prevent violence.
“My government will not rest until we have done everything in our power to reduce violent crime and to protect innocent life. We will not ever leave your side,” Trump said.
The remarks were Trump’s first in-person response to the shooting which killed five people. On Thursday, after being briefed on the incident, he tweeted his “thoughts and prayers” were with the victims.
He also thanked first responders at the scene.
But he avoided making any comments when he was returning to the White House from Milwaukee. He ignored reporters’ shouted questions about the shooting and walked directly to the Oval Office.
First lady Melania Trump, who was traveling in Arizona, tweeted that the violent attack “was tragic & evil.”
“My heart goes out to all affected in this brutal & senseless attack, & I send thoughts & prayers for comfort to the friends, family & colleagues of those killed & injured,” she wrote on Twitter.