President Obama is promising to bring the “full weight of justice” against those behind the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon.
The commander-in-chief delivered his remarks from the White House on Monday, hours after the blasts. “We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.”
Obama added, “Make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this. We’ll find out who did this and why they did this. Any responsible individuals and any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
He said Boston has the “full resources” of the federal government and said “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.”
The explosions occurred around 3 p.m. ET near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least two people and injuring more than 80.
Federal officials tell NBC News that Boston authorities are guarding a “possible suspect” who had been injured during the blasts. But an official cause of the explosions, is not yet known.
The Boston Marathon, on its Facebook page, referred to the explosions as “bombs.”
More than half a million spectators gather at the event every year. This year, 26,839 runners were participating in the race, representing 96 countries of citizenship.
Obama said he spoke to FBI director Robert Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who are mobilizing resources to investigate and respond. He also called Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to assure them that they have every federal resource for victims and to counsel families. He also spoke to leaders of Congress.
“There are no Republicans or Democrats. We are Americans united in concern of our fellow citizens,” said Obama.
House Speaker John Boehner led a moment of silence for Boston on the House floor at 6:30 p.m. ET.
“Words cannot begin to express our sorrow for the families who are grieving so suddenly right now,” Boehner said in a statement. “The House of Representatives offers its prayers to the victims and the city of Boston. We also give thanks for the professionals and Good Samaritans who prevented further loss of life. This is a terrible day for all Americans, but we will carry on in the American spirit, and come together with grace and strength.”
At the end of his remarks, Obama said Boston is a “tough and resilient town.” He continued, “So are its people. I am supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward – as one proud city.”