Trump Orders US Flags to Be Flown at Half-Staff, Honoring Virginia Victims

By Miguel Moreno, The Epoch Times
June 2, 2019 Updated: June 2, 2019

President Donald Trump has ordered that all U.S. flags on federal and public property be flown at half-staff, honoring the victims of the shooting at Virginia Beach.

The proclamation, made on June 1, declared that all flags must be flown at half-staff until the end of the day on June 4. Embassies and other American facilities abroad must do the same, according to a press release from the White House.

“Americans unite in praying for God to comfort the injured and heal the wounded,” reads the order. “May God be with the victims and bring aid and comfort for their families and friends.”

The following are the deceased and honored:

  • Laquita Brown, a right-of-way agent in public works
  • Tara Welch Gallagher, an engineer in public works
  • Mary Louise Gayle, a right-of-way agent in public works
  • Alexander Mikhail Gusev, a right-of-way agent in public works
  • Katherine Nixon, an engineer in public utilities
  • Richard Nettleton, an engineer in public utilities
  • Christopher Kelly Rapp, an engineer in public works
  • Ryan Keith Cox, an account clerk in public utilities
  • Joshua Hardy, an engineering technician in public utilities
  • Michelle “Missy” Langer, an administrative assistant in public utilities
  • Robert “Bobby” Williams, a special projects coordinator in public utilities
  • Herbert “Bert” Snelling, a contractor
virginia beach shooting victims
Victims of the shooting on May 31 at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va. Top row from left are Laquita C. Brown, Ryan Keith Cox, Tara Welch Gallagher and Mary Louise Gayle. Middle row from left are Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Joshua A. Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer and Richard H. Nettleton. Bottom row from left are Katherine A. Nixon, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Herbert “Bert” Snelling and Robert “Bobby” Williams, on June 1, 2019. (Courtesy City of Virginia Beach via AP)

Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia ordered that the same be done with its state flags on local, state, and federal properties until June 8.

Many state governors have announced on Twitter their intention to honor the federal proclamation, including Kentucky, Ohio, and Nebraska.

Tragedy in Virginia Beach

A gunman killed 12 people and injured four others in a municipal building on May 31 in Virginia. The identities and pictures of the victims were released by the city a day after the slayings.

DeWayne Craddock has been identified as the shooter—a long-time city employee. Police Chief James Cervera of the Virginia Beach Police described Craddock as “disgruntled,” but said no more of the gunman’s intentions.

“We have more questions than we really have answers,” the chief said about two hours after the tragedy.

fbi virginia shooting
A member of an FBI works in a parking lot outside a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting in Virginia Beach, Va., on June 1, 2019. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Craddock was killed by police after a “long gun battle,” according to Cervera. He had no criminal record aside from a traffic infraction in 2013.

Craddock served in the Army National Guard. No pictures of the gunman have been made public.

Neighbors of the shooter described him as a solitary character whom they rarely interacted with, according to WAVY. He was also often awake at random hours of the night.

“You heard him walking around; he would drop stuff at like 2 a.m., and me and my roommate would try to figure out what he was doing,” Cassety Howerin, a neighbor of Craddock, told WAVY. “In the year I’ve been there, we’ve maybe had three conversations and that’s about it.

virginia shooting
Rich Lindgren, of Virginia Beach, Va., places American flags at a makeshift memorial at the edge of a police cordon in front of a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting in Virginia Beach, Va., on June 1, 2019. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Howerin continued: “I never saw him take trash out, never saw him bring groceries in, never saw people coming in or out. He was very to himself … he stood maybe 6 foot and he always carried a book bag with him. That’s all I really know.”

Vice President Mike Pence sent prayers to the families of the victims on July 1, responding to a tweet by the president, and thanking law enforcement for their speedy response.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this article.


Follow Miguel on Twitter: @Miguel_NTD