Trump meets with those affected by Parkland shooting

Last Updated Feb 16, 2018 8:40 PM EST

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the victims of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting Friday night, as well as members of law enforcement at the Broward County Sheriff's office. 

The president, speaking to reporters at Broward Health North Hospital, confirmed that he had seen victims who were recovering -- including a girl who had suffered four bullet wounds -- and praised doctors' swift work. 

"The job they've done is incredible and I want to congratulate you," the president said as he shook one doctor's hand. 

The Wednesday shooting left 17 people dead, leaving no one in the school untouched by tragedy. Lori Alhadeff, a mother who lost her 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, in the shooting on Wednesday, directed her anger at the president after the shooting and is now invoking his own young son in calling for more security for schoolchildren.

"President Trump, Barron goes to school. Let's protect Barron," she said on CNN Friday, before her daughter's funeral. "And let's also protect all these other kids."

When Mr. Trump visited the Broward County Sheriff's Office Friday night, he said the visit to the hospital was supposed to take place Sunday or Monday. But after talking with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who accompanied him, the president said he decided to make the trip sooner. The commander-in-chief thanked the members of law enforcement present, going around the room and asking each person there to introduce himself or herself. The president met the man who apprehended the suspect, Officer Michael Leonard. Leonard briefly described how he located 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. 

"That was so modest, I would have told it much differently," the president joked. "I would have said without me, they never would have found him."

Rubio also made brief remarks. 

"This is a community and a state that is a deep pain and they want action to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said. 

The president made no public appearance immediately after the shooting Wednesday, prompting criticism. But on Thursday, he addressed the tragedy in brief remarks at the White House. 

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," Mr. Trump said at the White House. "We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also. No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school."

The president is expected to spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.