Obama Speaks, Orders Flags at Half-Staff

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) -
President Barack Obama speaks about the shootings in San Bernardino, California, during a meeting with his national security team in the Oval Office Thursday. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
President Barack Obama speaks about the shootings in San Bernardino, California, during a meeting with his national security team in the Oval Office Thursday. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

President Barack Obama is ordering U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims of the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead.

The White House said Obama signed the proclamation Thursday. It calls for flags to remain at half-staff through Monday and affects flags at the White House, public buildings, military installations, U.S. Navy ships, embassies and diplomatic missions.

Workers lower the American flag above the White House on Thursday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Workers lower the American flag above the White House on Thursday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Authorities say Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people at a holiday gathering for county health employees held at a social service center in San Bernardino on Wednesday, before dying in a gun battle with police.

Earlier Thursday, President Obama spoke in the Oval Office regarding the shooting. Obama said that it’s possible the shooting was related to terrorism, but that authorities still don’t know. He said it’s possible it was workplace-related or that there were mixed motives.

Obama assured Americans that authorities will get to the bottom of what happened. The president also called for people to wait for facts before making judgments.

Obama said that while many Americans feel there’s nothing they can do about mass violence, “we all have a part to play.”

The president said that the nation must make it harder to carry out violence, but acknowledged that the threat can’t be eliminated completely. He said it will be important for all Americans, including state legislatures, to see what they can do.