WACO, Texas – President George W. Bush (search) on Friday expressed condolences to the leader of the Minnesota Indian reservation where 10 people died Monday in the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history.
Bush talked to Floyd Jourdain Jr., chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa (search), for five minutes Friday morning, offering his sympathy for the victims of a teen-ager's shooting rampage and for the entire Red Lake community. He pledged to provide federal assistance, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Jeff Weise (search), 16, shot to death five students, a security guard and a teacher at the school on Red Lake Indian reservation, then killed himself. Earlier, he shot to death his grandfather and the man's girlfriend.
Some American Indians have complained that Bush did not respond publicly to the shooting for four days. Just hours after the shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School that left 15 dead, then-President Bill Clinton publicly expressed his condolences.
Perino said that Bush tried to call Jourdain a couple of times on Thursday but couldn't reach him. "I know that he got voice mail a couple of times," she said.
Gifts of money have been pouring into the tribe as it prepares for the victims' funerals. Bush told Jourdain that he used part of his weekly radio address to encourage Americans to send more help, Perino said. The president's address was taped Friday morning and will be broadcast Saturday.