Saudi national who shot 11 people at Pensacola Naval Air Station was taking aviation classes

A gunman opened fire inside Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, killing at least one person and injuring several others, according to authorities. The shooter is confirmed dead, according to Escambia County Sheriff.

Posted: Dec 6, 2019 9:08 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 10:45 PM


The gunman in a deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida was a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military involved in flight training at the station, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Friday.

Officials are looking into whether the shooting was terror-related as a possible motive, but it's still early in the investigation.

Three people were killed in the shooting and at least eight others were injured and taken to a hospital, authorities said.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN the shooter, who was killed, has been identified as Saudi Arabian national Mohammed Alshamrani.

The gunman started his training in August 2017 as part of a three-year program. He was taking classes in basic aviation, initial pilot training and English, according to a spokesperson for the assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES

President Donald Trump has spoken with the King of Saudi Arabia about the shooting, he said on Twitter.

'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,' the president said.

Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud expressed 'deep sadness and sorrow' in the call, state-run SPA news reported. The king told the President that he ordered Saudi services to cooperate with the investigation, according to SPA.

At a news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis mentioned the connection to the Saudi Air Force and said that he had spoken to Trump about it.

'There's 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,' he said.

'Obviously,' DeSantis added, 'the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims.'

Foreign students from 'partner nations' have trained at the base to learn naval aviation for years, Commanding Officer of NAS Pensacola Capt. Tim Kinsella told reporters.

'There's always been international students training here because it's a good place to train, it's good quality training,' he said. He roughly estimated that there were a couple hundred foreign students at the base.

Two deputies who confronted the shooter were injured

The FBI has taken over the investigation, according to an FBI spokeswoman.

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.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan told CNN's Erin Burnett that the FBI had secured the areas on base where the shooter was staying and they had recovered his laptop and cell phone.

Authorities first received a call about an active shooter at NAS Pensacola around 6:51 a.m., Morgan told reporters earlier.

The shooter used a handgun and was killed after two deputies exchanged gunfire with him.

At least eight people were injured and taken to Baptist Health Care, including one who died, said Chief Deputy Chip Simmons. 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 shooting occurred in a classroom building, Kinsella said. The base will remain on lockdown until further notice, he said.

The names of the victims are not being released until authorities notify their families.

Walking through the scene 'was like being on the set of a movie,' Morgan said.

'This doesn't happen in Escambia County. It doesn't happen in Pensacola. It doesn't happen to our friends and neighbors who are members of the US Navy,' Morgan said. 'But it did, and it has.'

The shooting comes just two days after an active duty US sailor, Gabriel Romero, killed two civilian employees and injured another before killing himself at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. Investigators have not announced a motive for the Wednesday shooting.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly said the Navy was 'struck and deeply saddened' by the recent attacks, including an incident in Little Creek, Virginia.

'These acts are crimes against all of us,' Modly said. 'Our prayers are with the families of the fall and the wounded.

White House monitoring Pensacola shooting

The White House and the governor's office reached out to local authorities to offer assistance, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said.

Naval Air Station Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to the base's website. Many families also live there, said retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, CNN's military and diplomatic analyst, who was once stationed there.

'They love the base there,' Kirby said of the sailors. 'It's a great relationship between the people of Pensacola and the Navy and the base there. It's a terrific Navy town.'

FBI personnel from Pensacola, Jacksonville and Mobile, Alabama, are responding to the station, an FBI spokeswoman said. Multiple agencies are cooperating on the investigation, including local law enforcement and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Terre Haute
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 76°
Robinson
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 73°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 75°
Rockville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Casey
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 74°
Brazil
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 76°
Marshall
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 76°
Sunny and Warm
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 189705

Reported Deaths: 7791
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1091504912
Lake12376444
DuPage11926519
Kane9509302
Will8932344
St. Clair3845159
Winnebago3746128
McHenry3060114
Madison241074
Kankakee171368
Rock Island165634
Champaign161519
Peoria148835
Unassigned1342197
Kendall131923
Sangamon115133
DeKalb89830
Boone75423
Jackson68519
LaSalle66621
McLean61115
Macon55023
Adams4865
Tazewell4488
Randolph4417
Coles43320
Ogle4005
Clinton37817
Williamson3646
Whiteside33516
Stephenson3256
Union30923
Grundy2995
Monroe29913
Knox2852
Iroquois2529
Henry2241
Morgan2226
Vermilion2222
Cass21911
Jefferson21819
Warren1870
Bureau1702
Lee1621
Montgomery1617
Macoupin1543
Marion1530
Franklin1470
Perry1421
McDonough13715
Effingham1291
Christian1284
Saline1262
Woodford1253
Jo Daviess1211
Douglas1062
Livingston1032
Pulaski910
Logan900
Jersey851
Clark761
Mercer733
Moultrie690
Shelby681
Johnson660
White640
Fayette603
Washington600
Bond593
Jasper557
Wayne551
Piatt540
Menard530
Cumberland512
Ford511
Carroll484
Gallatin482
Hancock461
Mason450
Lawrence440
Alexander360
Massac360
Wabash340
Greene330
De Witt320
Fulton320
Crawford290
Edgar280
Hamilton260
Marshall220
Clay180
Hardin180
Pike180
Edwards170
Schuyler170
Richland150
Brown130
Scott130
Putnam110
Henderson100
Calhoun90
Pope80
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 71015

Reported Deaths: 3013
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15322723
Lake7343274
Elkhart471380
Allen3725160
St. Joseph330179
Hamilton2610104
Vanderburgh184213
Hendricks1814106
Cass17669
Johnson1694118
Porter123839
Clark114846
Tippecanoe114611
Madison89565
LaPorte86930
Howard85565
Kosciusko82712
Marshall75822
Bartholomew75447
Floyd74045
Monroe70830
Delaware68052
Dubois65812
Boone65346
Noble64529
Hancock63838
Jackson5625
LaGrange55410
Warrick55330
Vigo54310
Shelby53527
Grant52029
Dearborn47928
Morgan45134
Clinton4043
Henry36919
White35110
Montgomery34621
Wayne34610
Lawrence33727
Decatur32432
Harrison30923
Putnam2778
Miami2642
Daviess25920
Scott25710
Greene24134
Franklin23413
DeKalb2234
Jasper2192
Jennings21512
Gibson2084
Steuben2043
Ripley1947
Perry17912
Fayette1777
Starke1747
Orange16624
Posey1650
Wabash1613
Fulton1592
Carroll1572
Wells1542
Jefferson1532
Whitley1476
Knox1420
Tipton1296
Huntington1213
Washington1211
Spencer1193
Newton11410
Randolph1144
Clay1045
Sullivan911
Adams892
Jay840
Owen831
Pulaski751
Brown711
Rush714
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford592
Ohio574
Pike520
Parke501
Vermillion480
Crawford440
Switzerland440
Martin420
Union350
Warren201
Unassigned0202