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Shooter Who Killed 3 at Fla. Naval Base Was Member of Saudi Air Force Training There

Greg Hanlon

The shooter who killed three people and injured seven on a Florida Navy base Friday before he was himself shot dead by police was a member of Saudi Arabia’s Air Force who was training at the base, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced at a Friday afternoon press conference.

Calls for an active shooter at the Naval Air Station Pensacola came in at 6:51 a.m., authorities said, adding that the shooting occurred in one of the classrooms on the compound, which serves as a training base.

The shooter was killed by deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, who responded within minutes. Two responding deputies who engaged the suspect were shot but they are expected to fully recover, authorities said.

The name of the shooter and the identities of the victims have not yet been released.

At the Friday afternoon press conference, DeSantis said, “Given that this was a foreign national in the employ of a foreign service … the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make thing better for these victims. And I think that they are going to owe a debt here, given it is one of their individuals.”

Shortly after the press conference, President Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter reading, “King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Pensacola, Florida. 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.”

Naval Air Station Pensacola | Getty

Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella, the base’s commanding officer, said there are approximately “a couple hundred” foreign nationals training at the base.

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Kinsella said that “weapons are not authorized” on the base.

According to its website, Naval Air Station Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel. It is the headquarters for Naval Education Training Command, a command which combines direction and control of all Navy education and training.

This is the second shooting incident on a Navy base in the last week.

On Wednesday afternoon, a United States sailor opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, killing two civilian employees and injuring one before he fatally shot himself.