President Barack Obama will shorten his planned trip to Spain by a day and travel to Dallas, where a shooting attack left five of the city’s police officers dead and seven others wounded.
Obama plans to travel to Madrid, visit troops at the Rota naval base in Cadiz and return to Washington on Sunday night. He’ll travel to Dallas early next week at the invitation of Mayor Mike Rawlings, according to a statement Friday from White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
"Later in the week, at the White House, the president will continue the work to bring people together to support our police officers and communities, and find common ground by discussing policy ideas for addressing the persistent racial disparities in our criminal justice system," according to the statement.
The president was in Warsaw for a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization when news broke of the Dallas attack at what had been a peaceful protest against the police killing of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this week. The suspected shooter was identified as a military veteran who told a police negotiator he was upset by those incidents and wanted to kill white officers, according to the Associated Press. He was killed by an explosive delivered by a police robot.
Obama told reporters he was “horrified” by the shootings and offered federal assistance to Dallas police and city officials. The president called the incident “a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
Obama’s visit to Spain will be the first by a U.S. president in 15 years. He will skip a planned trip to Seville, a historic city thought to be the burial site of explorer Christopher Columbus and the a shooting location for one of the president’s favorite television shows: HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”