At least 26 people were killed and about 20 others injured after a gunman opened fire on a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday morning, in what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s recent history.
The violence comes just one month after the nation was rocked by the Las Vegas massacre, which left 59 dead and 527 injured after a shooter opened fire on a country music festival.
The latest mass shooting targeted the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a community of about 400 people located about 30 miles from San Antonio.
World leaders and American political figures took to social media to express sympathy for the victims and their families. Here is what they said:
President Trump and U.S. politicians respond to the shooting
President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences from Tokyo Monday morning as he began the first leg of his Asia visit. He also released a statement calling the shooting a “horrible act of evil” and said he would “continue to follow developments closely” during his 12-day tour.
Former President Barack Obama expressed condolences and called for a look at “what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.”
Echoing Obama’s call to action Minnesota Senator Al Franken urged “moral courage to address these senseless acts.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement shortly before arriving on the scene in Sutherland Springs. He thanked law enforcement responders and called on all Texans to “pray for the Sutherland Springs community during this time of mourning and loss.”
World leaders react to the Texas church shooting
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was with President Trump as news of the shooting broke, sent messages of condolence through both Facebook and Twitter. “My thoughts are with those who suffered injuries in the incident. I wish to express heartfelt solidarity with the people of the United States during this difficult time,” he said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts and prayers were with the victims of the shooting.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said in a statement that it “is appalling that this act took place in a place of worship, where worshippers should have felt safe.”
“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed. We also hope for a speedy recovery to all those harmed today,” he added.
From Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto offered his country’s “solidarity and condolences to all those affected.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also offered his prayers to the victims and families.
The government of Venezuela issued a statement strongly condemning “this and any other act of violence whose purpose is to cause terror in the population.”
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