Trump Orders Flags to Half Mast to Honor Journalists Killed in Capital Gazette Shooting

By Melanie Arter | July 3, 2018 | 9:51 AM EDT


( – President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a proclamation honoring the five journalists killed last week during a shooting a the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., and ordered U.S. flags at the White House and all public buildings to be lowered to half-staff.

“Our Nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Americans across the country are united in calling upon God to be with the victims and to bring aid and comfort to their families and friends,” the proclamation stated.

“I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 3, 2018,“ it stated.

“I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations,” the proclamation added.

The Capital Gazette reported Monday that Trump declined a request by Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley to lower flags to half-staff for the victims.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed, you know? … Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Buckley was reported as saying Monday afternoon. “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”

The Capital Gazette later updated its story, saying the White House “reversed its decision” not to lower U.S. flags to half-staff.

The victims have been identified as 59-year-old Rob Hiaasen, 65-year-old Wendi Winters, 61-year-old Gerald Fischman, 56-year-old John McNamara, and 34-year-old Rebecca Smith.

The shooter, Jarrod W. Ramos, has been charged with five counts of first degree murder.

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