Saudi Airman Suspected in Shooting at U.S. Navy Base That Left Four Dead

A member of the Saudi Air Force visiting the United States for military training was the suspect in a shooting attack at a U.S. Navy base in Florida in which four people were killed and eight were injured on Friday, the state governor and other officials said.

Four people including the shooter were killed in the episode at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Navy and local sheriff’s office said, the second deadly shooting at a U.S. military installation this week.

President Donald Trump said that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called him to send condolences and his sympathy to the victims.

“The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that the suspect was a Saudi national attending training at the base as part of long-standing Navy program open to U.S. allies. The motive for the violence was still under investigation.

“There is obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi Air Force and then to be here training on our soil,” DeSantis said at a news conference on Friday. “The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims. They are going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals.”

The suspect fired a handgun in the attack, which played out over two floors in classroom building at a base whose main function is training.

“Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie,” Sheriff David Morgan said.

The first reports of an “active shooter” on the base came through to the Escambia County sheriff’s office at about 6:51 a.m., officials said.

A few minutes later, a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot the shooter in a classroom on the base, Morgan said.

In recent weeks, 18 naval aviators and two aircrew members from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces were training with the U.S. Navy, including a stint at Pensacola, according to a Nov. 15 press release from the Navy. It was not clear if the suspected shooter was part of that delegation.

The delegation came under a Navy program that offers training to U.S. allies, known as the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity.

The Saudi trainees went “through the same student naval aviator or aircrew training that their U.S. Navy counterparts experience,” the press release said.

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington did not respond to questions.

Two sheriff’s deputies were injured, one shot in the arm, the other in the knee, but both were expected to survive, officials said at the news conference.

Eight people were taken to Baptist Hospital for treatment, hospital spokeswoman Kathy Bowers said.

Sheriff’s officials said one of the three victims died after being taken to the hospital, but it was unclear whether that victim was one of the eight who arrived at Baptist. Bowers declined to say.

While military bases house the nation’s most powerful armaments, military personnel normally are restricted from carrying weapons on base unless they are part of their daily duties. Nonetheless U.S. military bases have seen deadly mass shootings before, including one in Ford Hood, Texas, in 2009 that left 13 dead and one at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013 that killed 12.

On Wednesday, a sailor shot three civilians at the historic Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii, killing two of them before taking his own life.

The Pensacola base, which is near Florida’s border with Alabama, is a major training site for the Navy and home to its aerobatic flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels. The base employs more than about 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to the base’s website.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said at the news conference that the base is “an incredibly important part of our community.”

“We’re a military town,” he said. “Our hearts and prayers are connected to all of those that serve us every day.”

Published in News

Responses

  1. Suspected??????? They are already trying to down play that it was a radical muslim that did this. They will probably accuse some white guy of doing this killing.

  2. Training your enemies makes no sense and especially ? jockeys.

  3. This is a big problem.
    Our military, trains foreign nationals, to fight.
    This has been going on since the early 70’s. I witnessed it myself, during Vietnam.
    We had many Middle Easterners, attend class in my technical school.

  4. I bet he was yelling God is great as he slays the Infidels. Sad people won’t even admit who the enemy is. So how can you defeat them?

  5. May those lost find peace and safety in the arms of love. May memories of happier times bring comfort to their loved ones.
    May those injured recover fully.

  6. Imagine that. Not even 20 years after 9/11 and we’re still allowing members of untrustworthy nations peopled by savages (Adnan Kashoggi anyone?) to train here. “Oh he’s Saudi Air Force. He’s okay.”

    Why, it’s almost like the 9/11 hijackers learning how to take off and fly, but not land. I’m not saying that Saudi trainees should be excluded or made to eat bacon. I’m saying that they should be ultra-, triple-, super-vetted. Just like Dean Wormer’s probation. Bureaucracies learn nothing.

    Will those who vetted and admitted this person be scrutinized? Will his recommendations be backtracked? Doubtful

    Idiots.

    1. Should we have “ultra,-triple, super-vetted” the Navy soldier from Texas that killed 2 and injured another civilian before he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound?

      1. Join the discussion…If we did that syphilis, you would never be allowed to live here with that lying mouth of yours.

  7. The shooting by the Saudi lieutenant is being reported here in Jacksonville, Florida as a “terrorist” attack. Hand guns are not permitted on military installations and it’s unclear how the Saudi was able to have one to carry out the murders. Local police and Navy security were the “good guys with a gun who stopped a bad guy with a gun”.

    1. “The good guys with a gun who stopped a bad guy with a gun”—-AFTER the bad guy killed 3 and injured 8 others, including the good guys with a gun. In the earlier in the week Pearl Harbor shooting, 2 civilians were killed and 1 injured by a U.S. Navy soldier who died from a self-inflicted gunshot.—So, was the bad guy with a gun also a good guy with a gun??

      1. Join the discussion…It is coming to and America near you in the future where millions of good guys with a gun will put down millions of communist drones (you and the whole of the demonrat party). Just keep doing what you are doing. Freedom will win.

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