El Paso

Shooting victims at University Medical Center declined to meet Trump

EL PASO, Texas - The eight victims of the El Paso shooting still recovering at the University Medical Center declined to meet with President Donald Trump during his visit on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported.

"This is a very sensitive time in their lives. Some of them said they didn't want to meet with the President, some of them didn't want any visitors," the hospital's spokesman Ryan Mielke said in a statement provided to the newspaper. He said two victims who had been discharged from UMC returned to the hospital with their families to meet with Trump.

ABC-7 reached out Thursday to Mielke, but he has yet to respond.

The family of Chris Grant, one of the eight still recovering at UMC, told ABC-7: "Our main focus is getter Chris better. Speaking to Trump was not going to aid in doing that."

Pastor Michael Grady, the father of Michelle Grady, who was shot three times, told CNN that his daughter did not want to see the President. The family also refused to meet with Trump.

Trump did not visit the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, which is currently treating six patients from the shooting.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Trump and first lady Melania Trump were "received very warmly by not just victims and their families, but by the many members of medical staff who lined the hallways to meet them."

"It was a moving visit for all involved," Grisham added.

The White House posted a photo from his visit to UMC, showing Trump taking a photo with two men inside the hospital, with a caption saying, "President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit with victims of Saturday's attack and their family members Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at the University Medical Center of El Paso in El Paso, Texas."

Two men who raced to the scene, Jimmy Villatoro and Ray Garcia, also met with Trump. Villatoro told CNN he met with Trump because he wanted to "show everyone that we should be united as one," and Garcia said he had no problem with Trump coming to El Paso.

When the Trumps visited the hospital on Wednesday, the press was not given access to cover the visit.

On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in east El Paso, killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others.

Police say they believe the suspect had written a "manifesto" filled with racist language and hatred aimed at immigrants and Latinos. Within 13 hours of the El Paso shooting, another nine people were killed in a mass shooting at a popular nightlife district in downtown Dayton, Ohio.

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