President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaObama and Trump haven’t talked since inauguration For Democrats, no clear leader Obama reportedly spending a month in French Polynesia MORE on Thursday expressed their condolences to the victims of the Fort Hood shooting.
"Our thoughts right now in many ways are with the families at Fort Hood," the president said during an event celebrating the U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympic teams. "These are folks who make such extraordinary sacrifices for us each and every day."
Obama called the shooting "unspeakable, senseless violence" and "obviously tragic."
"We join that entire community in honoring those who lost their lives," Obama said. "Every single one of them is an American patriot."
A gunman opened fire at the Texas military base on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring 16 before taking his own life. Fort Hood was the site of a similar mass shooting in 2009.
The first lady said she and the president had been "torn apart" by the tragedy, while her husband vowed to "do everything we can to make sure we're keeping our troops safe.”
After touching on the shooting, Obama went on to herald the Olympic athletes gathered at the White House.
Poking fun at some of the construction problems in Sochi, Russia, Obama quipped that, at the White House, "we double-checked to make sure all the bathroom locks were working."
He paid tribute to female athletes, noting they had brought home more medals than women from any other nation.
"Way to go women," Obama said.
He said the athletes inspired ordinary Americans to get off the couch and do something. And he thanked the snowboarders for introducing the country to a whole new jargon.
"The back-to-back double-cork 1260 … I'm pretty sure I'm the first president to ever say that," Obama said.