AP NEWS

Florida governor orders flags at half-staff to honor airman

December 20, 2019 GMT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Saturday at the state Capitol and several government buildings in St. Petersburg, Florida, to honor U.S. Navy Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham.

The 19-year-old St. Petersburg native was one of three American sailors killed two weeks ago when a Saudi flight student opened fire at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

The governor said flags will remain at half-staff “as a mark of respect” from sunrise to sundown in Tallahassee, as well as at the Pinellas County courthouse and St. Petersburg City Hall.

Haitham was undergoing flight crew training in Pensacola. He was planning to graduate from the the program by the end of the year.

U.S. Naval Academy graduate Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, of Enterprise, Alabama, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Georgia also died in the violence.