The gunman who opened fire Friday morning in a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, fatally shooting three people and injuring seven others, has been identified as an aviation student from Saudi Arabia as investigators are looking into whether the attack is terrorism-related.
The gunman was confronted and taken out by a pair of responding Escambia County deputies. Two people were killed at the scene while a third victim died after being rushed to a local hospital. Seven others suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment, including the two officers, one of whom was shot in the arm and the other in the knee. Both are expected to survive.
“This is a tragic day for the city of Pensacola… we are a military town, our hearts and prayers are connected to all those that serve us every single day,” the city’s mayor, Grover Robinson, told reporters during a press conference Friday. “We will overcome this, but today this is certainly a tragic day.”
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said that the suspect in the naval station shooting used a handgun in today’s attack.
Morgan would not confirm other information about the shooter including his name or whether a room on campus was raided as part of the ongoing investigation.
NAS Pensacola is home to the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity’s International Training Center, which the Navy says was “established in 1988 to meet the aviation-specific training needs of international officers and enlisted students from allied nations.”
“Immersing international students in our U.S. Navy training and culture helps build partnership capacity for both the present and for the years ahead,” Cmdr. Bill Gibson, the center’s officer-in-charge, said in 2017. “These relationships are truly a win-win for everyone involved.”
The majority of the hundreds of students that have participated in the program, the Navy says, are from Saudi Arabia.
President Trump has of course been kept apprised of the on-going investigation and he tweeted his condolences.
Just received a full briefing on the tragic shooting at NAS Pensacola in Florida, and spoke to @GovRonDeSantis. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time. We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
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