One person was also injured in the incident.
“The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of five and ten years old,” Obama said on Friday. “They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”
In tears, Obama made the statement in the White House and ordered US flags on the White House to fly at half-mast for four days in a show of respect for the 26 victims of the rampage, which he called a “heinous” crime.
He mentioned previous shooting massacres in Colorado, Oregon, and Wisconsin, and said, “As a country we have been through this too many times.”
Earlier in the day, Obama had discussed the renewal of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, which had banned the domestic manufacture for civilian use of 19 types of semi-automatic firearms until it expired in 2004.
Up to now, Obama has taken no solid action to renew the law.