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capital gazette shooting

Trump lowers flags to honor Capital Gazette shooting victims after rejecting initial request

In a sudden reversal, President Trump on Tuesday ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the five Capital Gazette newspaper employees who were shot and killed last week.

Trump had initially declined a request from Annapolis, Maryland, mayor Gavin Buckley, who asked the president to acknowledge the victims with lowered flags, as the White House did after previous mass shootings. The rejection drew criticism, with some calling Trump "petty" and drawing parallels between the refusal and the president's prior criticism of the news media industry.

In a statement, Trump called for lowered flags in all public buildings and military posts across the country and world, "as a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence."

"Our nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting," reads the White House statement. "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 flags will be at half-staff until sunset.