In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting massacre, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, President Donald Trump told a shaken nation the slaughter was "an act of pure evil."
"We are joined together in sadness, shock and grief," Trump said in the Diplomatic Room of the White House Monday afternoon, promising to visit Nevada on Wednesday to meet with victims and first responders.
Stephen Paddock’s hail of bullets slaughtered at least 58 people, according to police, and sent more than 500 to hospitals with injuries. The body count at the Route 91 Harvest country musical festival surpassed the death toll in the infamous Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016.
"Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss.
"To the families of the victims: we are praying for you, and we are here for you and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period," Trump said during remarks that lasted about five minutes. He took no questions.
Trump praised first responders for their swift and courageous response to the attack launched on concertgoers from a hotel room window.
Rather than striking martial tones, as he has in the face of recent geopolitical threats, such as North Korea's missile testing, or the continuing fight against violent extremism, Trump sounded notes of calm and called for national unity.
"In moments of tragedy and harm, America comes together as one and it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us: our faith, our family and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community and the comfort of our common humanity," he said.
"Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today, and always will, forever."
While quoting Scripture and speaking of the enduring American spirit, Trump didn't demonstrate visible anguish during his remarks. By comparison, his predecessor, Barack Obama, openly wept when he addressed the nation after the murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
Obama at the time also spoke passionately in favor of stronger gun regulations during his address; Trump made no mention of the issue Monday.
As the story of the Las Vegas tragedy continues to unfold, "the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates," he said.
The shooter's stunned brother told CBS News in an interview that Paddock was just an ordinary guy who never evinced any political or religious affiliation or anger.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the concert attack was the 273rd mass shooting in the U.S. in 275 days.
Earlier Monday morning, Trump had tweeted, "My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!"
Before Sunday night’s carnage, Trump's public schedule had called for him to spend Monday welcoming the prime minister of Thailand to Washington, meeting with the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi, Maine, and New Hampshire, and dining with Republican members of Congress.