President Joe Biden has ordered all government buildings and facilities nationwide to fly the United States flag at half-mast in honor of the victims of the Allen Premium Outlets shooting until sunset on May 11, 2023.
This directive follows a tragic event in the northern Texas city of Allen, where a gunman opened fire at the outlet mall last Thursday, resulting in eight fatalities and seven injuries.
A Dallas County news outlet, Dallas Metro News, reported that the shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. local time on May 6, when the attacker, whose motive remains undetermined, began firing inside the mall. A nearby police officer subsequently apprehended the assailant.
The victims have been identified as Joycelyn Lacy, 38, Keiondrae Richardson, 17, Cassondra Beard, 29, Randy Huffer, 65, James Smith, 40, Benjamin Floyd, 28, Suellayne Stewart, 29, and Gwendolyn Magana, 33. The injured were transported to local hospitals for medical care.
The Allen, Texas, shooting incident has further intensified the escalating problem of gun violence in the United States, which has witnessed an unprecedented increase in mass shootings this year. The incident on Saturday marks the eighth mass killing in the nation this week alone, with over 200 such events recorded in 2023.
In response to this crisis, President Joe Biden called for immediate action on gun reform, declaring, “Enough is enough.” In a recent address to the nation, the President urged Congress to pass legislation expanding background checks for individuals seeking to purchase firearms and strengthening regulations on the production and sale of assault weapons. Biden’s proclamation serves as a symbol of honor, respect, and mourning for the victims of the devastating shooting, as well as a call for action to end the scourge of gun violence in the country.
The President’s directive was released through an official document posted on the White House website, detailing the order to lower flags to half-mast. The document mandates that this observance be upheld across all public buildings, military installations, naval vessels, and diplomatic facilities until the evening of May 11, 2023. Additionally, it encourages everyday Americans to participate in this display of national unity by flying flags at half-staff at their homes or businesses as a collective expression of national mourning.
This shooting incident underscores the urgent need for the U.S. to confront its gun violence crisis with effective measures addressing the rise in gun violence and mass shootings. Biden’s proclamation highlights the nation’s struggle with the consequences of this epidemic and emphasizes the necessity for immediate action to put an end to this ongoing surge of violence.