In a pair of somber messages posted to Twitter, Obama said he grieved with the families “harmed by this act of hatred,” and said he would “stand with the survivors as they recover.” He followed up with a message urging those in power to take action to combat violence and reduce the prevalence of guns.
“May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst,” he wrote.
The 26 people were killed after a man, identified in reports as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, walked into the First Baptist Church and began shooting with an “assault-type rifle.” At least 20 other people were injured in the massacre, including a 5-year-old boy who was shot four times. The suspect was killed, although his cause of death is unclear.
Obama has remained relatively quiet on social media since the end of his presidency in January, but has frequently weighed in on issues of national concern with his sympathies and similar calls to action.