Biden to visit Lewiston, Maine, on Friday following mass shooting

By | November 2, 2023

Andrew Harnik/AP

President Joe Biden speaks at Dutch Creek Farms in Northfield, Minnesota on November 1, 2023.


President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Lewiston, Maine, on Friday to pay their respects after 18 people were killed there in a mass shooting last week.

“The President and First Lady will honor and mourn the victims of this horrific attack with families and community members, and meet with first responders, nurses and others on the front lines of the response,” said the White House in a press release. statement.

The visit comes after authorities concluded a two-day manhunt for the suspect, accused of killing more than a dozen people aged 14 to 76 and wounding 13 others in a bowling alley and a restaurant, after being found dead last. week. Questions remain about possible warning signs before the rampage and how authorities handled them.

Biden said in a statement last week that his administration would continue to “deliver whatever is necessary to support the people of Maine.” He also reiterated his call for Congress to pass legislation against gun violence and urged Republicans to “fulfill our obligation to keep the American people safe.”

This weekend, the White House dispatched the deputy director of its Office of Gun Violence Prevention, Greg Jackson, to Maine at the request of the state’s governor to “support the community in the wake of the tragedy of Lewiston” and coordinate federal support for community needs. , according to White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton.

The Office of Gun Violence Prevention, established in September and led by Vice President Kamala Harris, aims to combat the national epidemic of firearm injuries and deaths.

Biden expressed frustration with the lack of action from Congress on the issue and suggested his executive powers were limited to enact further gun control.

Speaking at a fundraiser Friday evening, the president criticized the use of high-capacity magazines. He has previously called for renewing the assault weapons ban, but such a measure is unlikely to pass a divided Congress.

“Who the hell needs an assault weapon that can hold, in some cases, up to 100 rounds?” » Biden said at the fundraiser in Washington.

The president has not visited all the sites of at least 586 mass shootings – compiled by the Gun Violence Archive like shootings where four or more people are shot, excluding the shooter — so far countywide in 2023, but in March it visit Monterey Park, Californiaa, where 11 people were killed in a mass shooting at a dance studio in January.

Just days after the Lewiston shooting, the GVA recorded 13 mass shootings over Halloween weekend, which killed at least 12 people and injured dozens in several states.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Kevin Liptak, Donald Judd, Daniel Dale, CNN’s Nouran Salahieh, Shimon Prokupecz, Haley BritzkyAshley R. Williams, Sarah Smart, John Miller, Aya ElamroussiAndy Rose and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.

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