Wednesday, July 4, 2018 7:57 am
U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff in honour of the five people gunned down on June 29 inside Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the decision was reached Monday night “as soon as the president heard about the request from the mayor”.
Sanders said: “Last night, as soon as the president heard about the request from the mayor, he ordered the flags to be lowered.
“I spoke with the mayor last night and again this morning to let him know the president’s decision.”
The White House also released an official proclamation signed by Trump on Tuesday, which ordered American flags to be lowered until sunset at all public buildings and military posts.
“Our nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper,” Trump said in the proclamation.
The move followed a request by Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, who claimed that his request on Monday was initially denied, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
Buckley had said: “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy”.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, you know? Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Buckley said earlier.
On Monday, Buckley said that while the State of Maryland had ordered flags lowered in honour of those killed at the Capital Gazette, Trump declined the bid for federal recognition.
The White House also had lowered flags for other mass shootings, including the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February, and the 10 cut down in May at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
Five people were killed and several others injured on June 28 after a gunman opened fire inside the building that houses the Capital Gazette.
Trump said in a tweet on the shooting: “Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene”.