Biden orders flags lowered to half-staff to honor those killed in Indianapolis mass shooting

President Biden called Thursday night’s shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis the “latest in a string of tragedies” and instructed that flags be flown at half-staff on federal grounds in honor of the eight people who were killed.

“It’s a mass shooting just a week after we met, in the Rose Garden, with families who lost children and dear friends as bullets pierced their bodies and souls in schools, a night club, in a car at a gas station, and a town meeting at a grocery store,” said Biden in a statement released Friday afternoon, noting the tragedy comes on the eve of the 14th anniversary of a mass shooting at Virginia Tech that left 32 people dead.

The flag above the White House flies at half staff in honor of the Indianapolis, Indiana shooting victims, in Washington, DC on April 16, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
The flag above the White House at half-staff on Friday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images) (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

“What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation,” he continued.

At a press conference in Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett said that White House chief of staff Ron Klain, an Indianapolis native, texted him early Friday to offer the Biden administration’s support.

In his statement, Biden re-upped his call for the Senate to pass two gun control bills that expand background checks and look to close firearm purchasing loopholes. The prospects of passing the two bills in the Senate, however, seem dim given the lack of support from Republicans and even some Democrats.

“Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence,” Biden said. “I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people — including the vast majority of gun owners — to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines.”

Gun violence once again dominated headlines across the country this week. On Thursday, Chicago officials released a graphic video of the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot by a police officer on the West Side of Chicago.

In response to the gruesome video depicting Adam’s death, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that “too often in this country law enforcement uses unnecessary force.” She added that she was unclear if Biden had viewed the video.

A body is taken from the scene where multiple people were shot at a FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)
A body is taken on Friday from the scene where multiple people were shot at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. (Michael Conroy/AP) (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)

In his statement Friday, Biden continued to press for more legislation to curb gun violence.

“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives,” he concluded.

Dylan Stableford contributed reporting to this story.


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