President Obama orders flags to half-staff to honour the Chattanooga shooting victims

The flags will be lowered until 25 July

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The Independent US

President Barack Obama ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff to honour the five victims killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

24-year-old Mohammad Abdulazeez fatally shot five US service members on 16 July. The Kuwaiti-born gunman was a naturalized US citizen and an engineering graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He was killed by police after carrying out a shooting spree at two military recruitment locations.

President Obama issued a statement on Tuesday offering condolences and gratitude toward the families, first-responders and community of Chattanooga.

"Our thoughts and prayers as a Nation are with the service members killed last week in Chattanooga. We honor their service. We offer our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who stopped the rampage and saved lives.

"We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life."

Flags at federal locations will fly at half-staff including the White House, military posts, embassies and military facilities across the states.

The announcement comes shortly after House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ordered flags at the Capitol lowered.

The American flags will be lowered until 25 July.