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Hickenlooper, Trump order flags lowered for slain Maryland newspaper staffers

Author: Erin Prater - July 3, 2018 - Updated: July 5, 2018

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The flag of the United States flies at half-staff over the White House in Washington July 3 to honor the five people killed in the Annapolis, Md., shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has ordered flags lowered to half-staff until sunset Tuesday to honor the five newspaper staffers killed during a newsroom shooting in Maryland’s capital last week.

“May the love of friends and family give them strength during this difficult time,” Hickenlooper tweeted Tuesday, referencing survivors.

President Donald Trump also ordered U.S. flags on federal property be flown at half-staff through sunset Tuesday. The order comes after Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said Monday that Trump had declined his request to lower the flags.

“Our nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting,” Trump said in a presidential proclamation issued Tuesday. “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.”

Five Capital Gazette newspaper employees were killed Thursday when a gunman holding a grudge against the publication shot them in the newsroom.

Trump has repeatedly called journalists the “enemy of the people.” The White House says Trump ordered the flags lowered as soon as he learned of the Annapolis mayor’s request.

Journalists, “like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump said Friday, the day after the shooting.

In contrast, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement praising journalists after the shooting.

“Journalists tell the stories of our communities, protect democracy, & often put their lives on the line just to do their jobs,” he tweeted on Thursday. “Today’s attack in Annapolis is devastating. Our hearts go out to all the victims & their families.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Erin Prater

Erin Prater

Erin Prater is Colorado Politics' digital editor. She is a multimedia journalist with 15 years of experience writing, editing and designing for newspapers, magazines, websites and publishing houses. Her previous positions include military reporter at The Gazette, general assignment reporter at The Huerfano County (Colo.) World, copy editor at David C. Cook publishing house and adjunct mass communication instructor at Pueblo Community College. Her bylines include The New York Times Upfront, The Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Military Spouse magazine and Omaha Magazine (Omaha, Neb.). Her syndicated bylines include The Denver Post, MSNBC.com, Military.com and wire services.