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Flags Ordered to Fly at Half-Staff Until Monday in Honor of Maine Shooting Victims

In a proclamation issued on Thursday morning, President Joe Biden has directed that flags across the United States be flown at half-staff until Monday as a gesture of respect for the victims of two devastating shootings in Maine.

According to the presidential order, the U.S. flag is to be lowered to half-staff at several locations, including the White House, public buildings and grounds, military posts, naval stations, and all naval vessels throughout the country. This somber display of respect will continue until sunset on October 30.

The communities in Maine were reeling from a horrific event as authorities continued extensive search efforts to locate the individual responsible for a shooting that resulted in the tragic loss of 18 lives and left 13 others injured. The shooting occurred at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston, Maine, late Wednesday.

Maine Governor Janet Mills, in a press conference on Thursday morning, described the shooting suspect, Robert Card, as armed and dangerous, cautioning people not to approach him. Card is identified as a firearms instructor believed to be part of the U.S. Army Reserve, assigned to a training facility in Saco, Maine.

Following the shooting, the city of Lewiston witnessed an eerie stillness, with police officers, many armed with rifles, taking strategic positions. Meanwhile, people in the area hunkered down in their homes. Out of an abundance of caution, schools even as far away as Kennebunk, over 50 miles from Lewiston, decided to close on Thursday. Additionally, schools and public buildings in Portland, the largest city in the state, remained closed.

A shelter-in-place advisory was issued for Androscoggin County on Wednesday night, including the community of Lisbon, located approximately 8 miles from Lewiston, after a “vehicle of interest” was discovered in that area, as confirmed by authorities. The advisory was later extended to Bowdoin, a town in Sagadahoc County.

President Biden reached out to Governor Mills and the state’s Senate and House members via telephone, offering “full federal support in the wake of this horrific attack,” according to a statement from the White House.

This heartbreaking incident marks the 36th mass killing in the United States this year, based on data compiled by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.

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