Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/CNN) – President Donald Trump stopped into South Florida Friday evening to visit those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Air Force One touched down in West Palm Beach International Airport just before 5:30 p.m.
From there, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump headed to Broward Health North Hospital to visit victims of the shooting and the doctors who saved them.
“The job they’ve done is incredible and I want to congratulate you,” the president said as he shook the Doctor Igor Nichiporenko’s hand.
He went on, “It’s sad something like that could happen.”
He said he was impressed with the speed with which first responders reacted, calling it “record-setting” and “in one case 20 minutes.”
“It’s an incredible thing,” President Trump said.
At last check, there were still 7 victims in the hospital recovering from Wednesday’s shooting.
President Trump later made his ways to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office headquarters and met with Sheriff Scott Israel. The president was flanked by First Lady Melania Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
“Give them a raise. Give everybody a raise,” joked the president, talking about the law enforcement officers in the room.
The president said his visit was supposed to come later but it couldn’t wait.
“This was supposed to take place on Sunday or Monday and I said, ‘no way’ and then Marco said, hey he wants to go down there. We didn’t want to wait,” said Trump.
Senator Rubio, who arrived with Trump in Air Force One, shared his thoughts.
“This is a community and a state that is in deep pain and they want action to make sure this doesn’t happen again. This happens too often. I hope and pray we can come together and solve this,” said Rubio.
The president asked law enforcement officers to introduce themselves and talk about what they did in the rescue efforts.
Trump specifically pointed out Coconut Creek Police Officer Michael Leonard who spotted the accused school shooter.
“Very few people would have done what you did,” said Trump to Officer Leonard.
The First Lady shared a few words for the community as well.
“Thank you all for what you do and saving our children. They are our future. Let’s take care of them because they will go through a lot,” said First Lady Melania.
While many of their classmates continue to recover at the hospital, Trump’s first stop, student are demanding new gun laws.
“Something actually does need to happen. After Sandy Hook, after all the other shooting, and then having it happen at my own school something needs to be done or it’s going to continue,” said one student.
“Everything I’ve heard where we can’t do anything and this is just out of our hands. It’s inevitable. I think that’s a facade that the GOP is putting up. I think that’s what they want us to think. I think that after every shooting, the NRA sends them a memo saying send your thoughts and prayers, say let’s not talk about it now. Say this happens,” said another student.
But when President Trump was posed with the question during his hospital visit, he walked away.
It’s unclear what Trump is “working with Congress on” that is related to mitigating mass shootings. The president on Thursday offered no indication he is willing to revisit the nation’s gun laws, instead emphasizing the mental health aspect of mass shootings.
He has not yet proposed any specific policies.
The president will spend the rest of the weekend in Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach.
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)