Gov. Tomblin orders all U.S. and WV flags to half-staff at state - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Tomblin orders all U.S. and WV flags to half-staff at state facilities

Posted: Updated:
CHARLESTON, WV -

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, D-W.Va., has ordered all U.S. and state flags at all West Virginia facilities be displayed at half-staff until sunset Friday, September 20, 2013, in honor of the victims of the tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard.

In keeping with the presidential proclamation, Gov. Tomblin's order is effective immediately. "This senseless tragedy weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of all of us," Gov. Tomblin said. "Tonight Joanne and I join West Virginians and Americans, across the nation, in prayer for the victims and their families."

Authorities say a former Navy man launched an attack inside a building at the Navy Yard, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallway at the heavily secured installation. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman.

Defense officials say Aaron Alexis, identified as the gunman, was a full-time Navy reservist from 2007 to 2011 and worked recently as a Defense Department contractor. He also prayed at a Buddhist temple, was taking online course in aeronautics and was involved in past shooting incidents which attracted police attention in Seattle and Fort Worth, Texas.

It was not immediately clear why Alexis left the reserves, who his latest employer was, or what his motives might have been for going on a rampage. He was one of 13 people killed during Monday's shootings. Police in Seattle say Alexis was arrested there in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he described to detectives as an anger-fueled "blackout."