Trump: Church Shooting 'Isn't a Guns Situation' But a 'Mental Health Problem'

November 6, 2017 AT 11:12 AM

President Trump said Monday that a mass shooting at a Texas church that left 26 dead was not “a guns situation,” declaring that the problem was the shooter’s “mental health.”

“I think that mental health is your problem here,” Trump said during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan in response to a question about the massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas. “This was a very — based on preliminary reports — a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time.”

Police have identified the shooter as Devin Kelly, 26, but have not issued an assessment about his mental health. Kelley reportedly received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force in 2014 over allegations of domestic violence.

The president said that “we have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation.”

“This is a mental health problem at the highest level, it’s a very, very sad event,” Trump added .

Authorities said the gunman opened fire with a variant of the AR-15, a popular, high-powered rifle that is based on the military's M-16.

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