Deadly shooting at Pensacola naval base
A gunman killed at least three people at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida this morning.
Here's what we know about the shooting:
- What happened: Authorities first received a call about an active shooter at naval base around 6:51 a.m., Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan told reporters. The shooting occurred in a classroom building, authorities said. The shooter used a handgun and was killed after two deputies exchanged gunfire with him.
- The victims: Three people were killed in the shooting and at least eight others were injured and taken to a local hospital, authorities said. The deputies who confronted the shooter also suffered gunshot wounds — one in the arm and one in the knee. Both are expected to survive.
- The suspect: The gunman, who was killed, has been identified as Saudi Arabian national Mohammed Alshamrani. He was a member of the Saudi Arabian military training at the station, five US defense officials and another person familiar with the investigation told CNN.
- The FBI is investigating: Investigators are looking into whether the shooting was terror-related as a possible motive, but it's still early in the investigation. The investigation is global in scope, a law enforcement source told CNN, with agents posted in Riyadh tasked with liaising with the Saudi government to obtain background information about the shooter.
- President Trump in contact with Saudi king: Trump said he spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia about the shooting. "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 tweeted.
The suspected shooter was training at the US Naval Air Station in Pensacola for two years, according to Defense Department spokesperson Christopher Garver.
Two law enforcement sources tell CNN the suspect's name is Mohammed Alshamrani.
Alshamrani's training began in August 2017 and was scheduled to conclude in August next year, Garver said. His training program included English language training, basic aviation, and initial pilot training. The training was funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Alshamrani was vetted upon entry to the US and checked again after the shooting with nothing of concern found, a law enforcement source told CNN.
More information on foreign students training in the US: As of Dec. 6, 2019, the Department of Defense has 5,181 foreign students from 153 countries in the United States for Department of Defense security cooperation related training. The Department of Defense has 852 Saudis in the US for Department of Defense security cooperation related training activities.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper vowed to assist service members and staff affected by the shootings this week at two separate naval bases.
"To all our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines, and civilian personnel, we stand ready to assist and make resources available to deal with the grief in the aftermath of these tragedies as well as life's challenges in general," he said.
On Wednesday, a US sailor killed two civilians and himself at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. Investigators have yet to identify motives in either shooting.
This morning, a gunman killed at least three people and injured several others at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
Read the rest of Esper's statement:
"I offer my condolences to the families of the victims of both the Pearl Harbor and the Pensacola Naval Air Station shootings. The Department of Defense continues to monitor the situation in Pensacola and gather all the facts of each attack. I've spoken with Governor DeSantis, the Secretary of the Navy, and Deputy Secretary Norquist and am considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families. I'm grateful for the heroism of the first responders and law enforcement who helped confront both situations and kept further loss of life from occurring."
The Saudi foreign ministry issued a statement today expressing its deep “distress” regarding the deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, Saudi Press Agency [SAP] reported.
The ministry said it “affirms that the perpetrator of this horrific attack does not represent the Saudi people whatsoever. The American people are held in the highest regard by the Saudi people.”
“The Saudi security agencies will provide full support to the US authorities to investigate the circumstances of this crime,” the ministry added.
The suspected shooter at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has been identified as Saudi national Mohammed Alshamrani, two law enforcement sources told CNN.
The shooter was a member of the Saudi military training at US Naval Air Station in Pensacola, authorities said. He died in the shooting.
The FBI’s probe into the Pensacola shooting is now a global investigation, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The source said the bureau has now tasked its agents posted full-time in Riyadh with liaising with the Saudi Arabian government to obtain background information on the shooter.
The suspected shooter, who died in the shooting, was a member of the Saudi military training at US Naval Air Station in Pensacola.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud expressed his "deep sadness and sorrow" in a phone call with the US President Donald Trump on Friday after he received the news about "a Saudi student shooting incident in Florida, which resulted in the death and injury of a number of American citizens," according to Saudi state-run SPA news.
The Saudi king "offered his sincere condolences" to Trump and family members of the victims, SPA said.
The king stressed to Trump that he ordered "Saudi security services to cooperate with the relevant American agencies to access all information that helps in revealing the circumstances of this incident," SPA added.
President Trump has also confirmed that the two spoke on the phone.
“The king said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and this person in no way shape or form represent the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people so much,” Trump said at a roundtable on cutting regulations.
President Trump called today's deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida "horrible" and "terrible."
"I can tell you it's a horrible thing that took place, and we're getting to the bottom of it," Trump said. "All of the investigators are there now, and they're studying it very closely. And a terrible thing, and our condolences go to the families and to everybody involved, including the wounded. We have some badly wounded people also. And we have to extend our condolences to them and we'll be working with them all very closely."
Trump said the King expressed 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 be people so much."
Naval Air Station Pensacola (NAS) in Florida said the names of victims will not be released until 24-hours after next of kin have been notified, according to a tweet they sent this afternoon.
Four people are confirmed dead, including the shooter. Multiple other people were injured.
NAS Pensacola is still closed for oncoming traffic.
Read the tweet below: