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Flags at half-staff for slain Capital Gazette journalists

U.S. flags have been ordered flown at half-staff through sunset on Tuesday to honor the journalists killed last week in Maryland, after the Trump administration first denied a request for such a proclamation.

President Donald Trump issued the order early Tuesday morning. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other governors joined in proclaiming that flags should be flown at half-staff.

The country "shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland," the president said.

"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."

Four journalists and a sales staffer were shot to death Thursday in an attack on their newspaper's offices: editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, 59; Wendi Winters, 65, a community correspondent who led special publications; editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61; editor and sports writer John McNamara, 56; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant. The alleged gunman has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had ordered flags to be flown at half-staff from Friday through sunset on Monday. Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley had requested the president issue a proclamation, relayed through the state's congressional delegation, but had earlier said that was denied by the White House.

Trump apparently reversed course, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announcing the decision Tuesday morning.

Arizona Gov. Ducey joined in ordering flags at half-staff, but did not issue any public proclamation as is customary. Instead, the state Department of Administration emailed a brief announcement without any comments from the governor. As of noon Tuesday, no notice of the half-staff proclamation appeared on the website of the governor's office or the department's half-staff notices page.

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Will Seberger Photography

Flags fly at half-staff at University Medical Center in Tucson on Jan. 9, 2011.