Pope sends telegram about ‘devastating attack’ at Stoneman Douglas High

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Pope Francis is sending his condolences to the victims of the school shooting in Florida and praying that “such senseless acts of violence may cease.”

The Vatican says Francis sent a telegram Thursday to the archbishop of Miami saying he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the “devastating attack.”

Francis said he was praying for the dead and wounded and those who are grieving.

A former student at the Parkland, Florida high school opened fire Wednesday with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people.

Francis has frequently lashed out at gun manufacturers, calling them “merchants of death.” During his 2015 speech to the U.S. Congress, he called for an end to the arms trade, which he said was fueled by a quest for “money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”

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