Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Speaking from Tokyo after a gunman opened fire during a Sunday morning service in a small-town Texas church, killing at least 26 people ranging in age from 5 to 72, President Donald Trump blamed the mass shooting on “mental health” and said guns definitely aren’t the issue.
“I think that mental health is your problem here,” Trump said at a press conference, according to The Washington Post. “Based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems for a long period of time.”
“But,” Trump added, “this isn’t a guns situation.” He went on to call it “a mental health problem at the highest level” and praise a local resident, who was armed with a gun of his own and engaged the gunman as he exited the church, causing him to exit his vehicle.
The president said the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX—an unincorporated community of less than 400 residents—would’ve been even deadlier but “fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction.” Based on the preliminary death toll, The New York Times reported that 7% of the town’s population was killed in the attack, including the church pastor’s 14-year-old daughter.
The gunman has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, a Texas man who received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force and was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child. Kelley reportedly entered the church armed with a military-style AR-15 rifle and wearing all black, with a ballistic vest strapped to his chest. Kelley died shortly after the attack, but it’s not yet clear how he died.
Along with the nearly 30 dead, at least another 20 were hurt, with injuries ranging from minor to critical, in the attack.
- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was hurt worse than previously thought when his neighbor allegedly assaulted him in his Bowling Green home. Doug Stafford, Paul’s chief of staff, said in a statement Sunday that Paul has five broken ribs and bruising to his lungs, and it’s unclear when he’ll return to Washington.
- Insurers sent in private firefighters to protect the homes of wealthy customers during last month’s devastating wildfires in Northern California, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- There are just eight working days left for the Republicans to pass tax reform—which they’re hoping will be their first major legislative victory of the year—before the Thanksgiving recess.
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