Former President Donald Trump extended his sympathies to Iowans over the recent shooting at Perry High School, before stressing the need to “get over it.”
The deadly shooting took place last Thursday and involved a 17-year-old suspect who allegedly killed a sixth-grade student and injured seven others, including the school principal.
“I want to send our support and our deepest sympathies to the victims and families touched by the terrible school shooting yesterday in Perry, Iowa,” Trump said Friday.
“It’s just horrible, so surprising to see it here. But have to get over it, we have to move forward.”
After the shooting rampage, which took place during the first day of school since winter break, Dylan Butler, the 17-year-old suspect, allegedly shot and killed himself, according to officials.
The motivation for the deadly attack remains unclear. The gunman was armed with a handgun and pump action shotgun, according to authorities.
President Biden’s reelection campaign highlighted Trump’s jarring remarks.
Other 2024 Republican hopefuls similarly waded in on the matter.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed his condolences over the massacre but stressed that he believes “the federal government is probably not going to be leading that effort” to strengthen school security.
“I think it is more of a local and state issue. But we’ve shown how it’s done in Florida. The things that we’ve done have been very, very effective,” he told the Des Moines Register and NBC in a joint interview.
Former US ambassador to the UN and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley took to X to convey her sympathies.
Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who was set to hold a rally not far from where the tragic shooting took place, scrapped that event. He also called gun control the “wrong approach.”
“The temptation is just pass some law, paper and over and say we did something in response to this,” he said in a video message.
“You mark my words: Tomorrow, if not later today, you’re going to hear calls for, ‘Stop the guns, that’s the problem,’ sweeping under the rug this real ailment at the heart and soul of our nation and our culture that has spread to the entire next generation and to the unit of the family. The loss of purpose.”
Iowa is set to hold its leadoff 2024 GOP presidential caucus on Jan. 15, followed by New Hampshire on Jan. 23.
Candidates are barnstorming the Hawkeye State at a fervent clip hoping to gain momentum.
Trump is the runaway frontrunner in the race for the GOP nod, according to every reliable poll.