President Donald Trump Orders Flags to Be Lowered to Half-Staff in Wake of El Paso, Dayton Mass Shootings

President Donald Trump said all flags will be lowered to half-staff at federal government buildings for most of the week across the country after the deadly mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. At least 20 people were killed at an El Paso Walmart when a man opened fire. Hours later, a man opened fire at a popular entertainment district in Dayton, where nine people were killed.

"Today, I authorized the lowering of the flags to half-staff at all Federal Government buildings in honor of the victims of the tragedies in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio," Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. "The flags at the White House will be lowered today through Thursday, August 8. Melania and I are praying for all those impacted by this unspeakable act of evil!"

The president has not spoken out about the shootings, but has published several tweets about them.

"The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton. Much has already be learned in El Paso," Trump wrote Sunday morning. "Law enforcement was very rapid in both instances. Updates will be given throughout the day!"

He later added, "God bless the people of El Paso, Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio."

Trump spent most of the weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Photos of him making a surprise appearance at a wedding Saturday night, hours after the El Paso shooting went viral, with critics slamming the president for partying after the deaths of American citizens.

In El Paso, a 21-year-old white man from a Dallas suburb was arrested. Minutes before the shooting, a four-page manifesto containing white nationalist and racist ideals surfaced, and police believe it may have been written by the gunman. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the case will be prosecuted as "both a capital murder but also as a hate crime," notes CNN. The FBI also opened a domestic terrorism investigation.

"Today's shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today's hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people," Trump tweeted Saturday night. "Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas."


About 13 hours after the shooting in El Paso, another gunman opened fire in Dayton, killing nine and leaving at least 26 others injured. The suspect was killed by responding police officers less than a minute after he opened fire. The suspect's sister is among the deceased.

Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images