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Obama orders flags to half-staff

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President Barack Obama receives a briefing on the Washington Navy Yard shootings from Lisa Monaco, an assistant to the president, during a Sept. 16, 2013 meeting in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of White House/P. Souza)

President Barack Obama has issued an order asking that the American flag on all public buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Friday, Sept. 20.

All flags outside of government buildings in Rutherford County, including those owned by the cities and towns of Eagleville, Murfreesboro, La Vergne and Smyrna, will be flown at half-staff until that time.

Obama issued the proclamation in response to the killings of at least 12 people Monday during a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

"As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence ... at the Washington Navy Yard, by the authority vested in me as president ... I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the federal government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories and possessions until sunset, Sept. 20," Obama said in the order.

"I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations," he said.

According to the Associated Press, law enforcement officials have identified 34-year-old former U.S. Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, who was shot to death by police, as the lone gunman responsible for shooting dozens of people. Authorities have not determined a possible motive behind the incident, which is currently being investigated as a criminal act, not terrorism.

Read more from:
Aaron Alexis, Barack Obama, Mass Shooting, Public Safety, Washington Navy Yard
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