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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Barack Obama to attend vigil for Orlando victims Thursday



President Barack Obama will attend a vigil at the Amway Center in Orlando Thursday as part of his trip to pay respects to the victims of Sunday's nightclub shooting and to stand in solidarity with the community, Orlando officials told the Herald/Times.

The White House has not provided details about the trip yet but the president is expected to also visit other venues before he leaves as scheduled at 5:30 p.m., one source said.

"The president will be here tomorrow,'' said Mayor Buddy Dyer at a press conference early Wednesday. "I was in touch with the president and will be in touch with the White House in the last several days. He indicated he would like to come visit and comfort and show support for Orlando and the victims but did not want to get in the way. Obviously, a presidential visit comes with a lot of security and things you have to do so we decided this Thursday to get past the initial stages of this."

Dyer said Obama will be here "through the course of the day" and said the details of the locations he will visit would be released later today. 

Obama canceled what was to be his first campaign event with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton Wednesday after the shooter killed 49 and wounded 53 before being killed by police. 

The purpose of Obama's visit is "to pay his respects to victims' families and to stand in solidarity with the community as they embark on their recovery," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said when the trip was announced Monday.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 12:30pm]


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