Trump: 'We Have a Lot of Mental Health Problems in Our Country'

By Susan Jones | November 6, 2017 | 5:47am EST
A somber President Trump comments on the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (Photo: Screen grab from White House video)

( - Speaking at a news conference in Japan on Monday, President Trump said the horrific mass shooting at a Texas church was carried out by "a very deranged individual with a lot of problems over a long period of time."

At least 26 people were killed during a Sunday service at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, when a 26-year-old man opened fire on the congregation. The victims include a five-year-old child and the pastor's 14-year-old daughter.

"We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries," Trump said on Monday.


"Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it would have been...much worse."

Trump called it a "very, very sad event."

"These are great people, and a very, very sad thing. But that's the way I view it."

Devin Patrick Kelley reportedly had been dishonorably discharged from the Air Force in 2014 for assaulting his wife and child.

Some press reports also note a possible connection between Kelley and the church where he opened fire:

His wife, Danielle Shields, "was previously a teacher at the First Baptist Church," the Daily Mail reported.

And CBS News reported that his mother-in-law, Michelle Shields, "appears to have been a parishioner at the church and was friends on social media with the pastor's wife."

A man who lived nearby ran to the church with a rifle and shot at the killer, apparently wounding him. Here's how Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin described the chase:


At approximately 11:20 this morning, a suspect was seen at a Valero gas station in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He was dressed in all black. That suspect crossed the street to the church, exited his vehicle, and began firing at the church.

The suspect then moved to the right side of the church and continued to fire. That suspect entered the church and continued to fire.

As he exited the church, a local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect. The suspect dropped his rifle, which was a Ruger AR assault-type rifle, and fled from the church. Our local citizen pursed the suspect at that time.


Authorities said the local citizen jumped into the car of another local man, whom he did not know, and together they chased down the killer.


Police found the suspect dead in his car, but they're not sure whose bullet killed him.

"We cannot begin to imagine the suffering" of the people who lost friends and relatives, Trump said at Monday's news conference in Japan.

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