US President Donald Trump agrees to Annapolis mayor's request to lower flags

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

After initially declining the request, President Donald Trump has reversed course and will order American flags lowered to half-staff in honor of the mass murder victims at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

Perth-raised Gavin Buckley, elected Annapolis Mayor previous year, submitted the flag request to the White House over the weekend.

Mr Trump had ordered flags lowered for recent mass-shootings at Florida and Texas high schools and Mr Buckley said the newspaper massacre "was an attack on freedom of speech".

The White House says Trump ordered the flags lowered as soon as he learned of the Annapolis mayor's request.

A child looks at the five crosses representing the journalist killed, at a makeshift memorial outside the office building housing The Capital Gazette in Annapolis. Add Maryland Newspaper Shooting as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Maryland Newspaper Shooting news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Jarrod Warren Ramos was arrested by police after the attack Thursday.

A spokesman for Anne Arundel County Police Department confirmed to Newsweek by email that the three letters were sent to the recipients above.

The Baltimore Sun Media Group will be observing a moment of silence for the five employees of the Capital Gazette who were killed last week in a shooting at the paper's Annapolis office.

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In an interview earlier Monday with the Capital newspaper, Buckley said he was disappointed to hear that his request would not be honored.

The former classmate told Hartley that her online interactions with Ramos turned nasty in 2010, that he wrote things to her such as, "have another drink and go hang yourself, you cowardly little lush". "To the family, friends, and colleagues at the Capital Gazette and its parent company, the Baltimore Sun, you have the deepest sympathies of a state in mourning".

In 2016, the flag was flown at half-staff 53 times, the report said.

Ramos, who is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, apparently had a longstanding grudge against the local newspaper.

Police identified the dead as John McNamara, 56; Robert Hiaasen, 59; Wendi Winters, 65; Rebecca Smith, 34; and Gerald Fischman, 61.

More than 300 mourners, many of them carrying candles, walked slowly through the streets of Annapolis, the state capital, near the capitol dome, which was lit up, its flags flown at half staff in honor of the shooting victims.

He says he wants people to remember what happened.

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