October 27, 2018 / 4:53 PM / 23 days ago

Trump says Pittsburgh shooting has little to do with gun laws

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., October 27, 2018. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump told reporters that the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier on Saturday had little to do with gun laws and that the killings might have been prevented if there was an armed guard inside the building.

“If they had some kind of a protection inside the temple maybe it could have been a very much different situation,” Trump said to reporters about the shooting at a synagogue that was holding a shabbat religious service. “They didn’t and he was able to do things that unfortunately he shouldn’t have been able to do,” Trump told reporters before getting on Air Force One to fly to Indianapolis for a farmers’ convention.

A gunman killed at least eight people and injured 12 in an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue during Sabbath religious services on Saturday, and a suspect was in custody in a possible hate crime, local authorities and media reported.

Trump said the United States should harden laws on the death penalty. “I think one thing we should do is we would stiffen up our laws with guns with the death penalty,” Trump said. “When people do this they should get the death penalty.”

Earlier this year after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 dead, Trump said teachers carrying concealed guns could stop attacks.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Jeff Mason, David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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