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Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was identified as the active shooter who killed three people and wounded eight more at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. Alshamrani was first named in a tweet from NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian.
According to the Associated Press, the gunman has been identified as a Saudi national.
Authorities have not said whether they are considering the Pensacola shooting an act of terrorism; the AP reported that authorities are looking into whether that’s the case, though. According to The Times, the base hosts international students for flight training.
Four people are deceased (including the suspect), and more were wounded when the shooting broke out on December 6, 2019, at 6:45 a.m., according to the sheriff. Two deputies were shot, one in the arm and one in the leg, but they are expected to survive, officials told the media.
“It covered two floors from that one building. It is a bit like a movie because you have spent shell casings all over,” said a sheriff’s commander during a press conference. AP reported the building was Building 633.
It was the second mass shooting at a military installation in the United States in one week. An active shooter named Gabriel Romero killed two people at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Romero was a petty officer in the United States Navy. The Pensacola mass shooting unfolded on the morning of December 6, 2019.
It also came after a dramatic gunfight gripped the Miami area the day before when two robbers hijacked a UPS truck and then engaged in a shootout with police that left two innocent people dead.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Aslhamrani Was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force
According to the Associated Press, the suspect was “a Saudi aviation student.” CNN reported that the suspect was “a member of the Saudi Arabian military training at the station.” President Donald Trump tweeted that 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.”
There was an active shooter at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, but the gunman is now dead, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department. At least 11 people were rushed to area hospitals.
“Active shooter is deceased,” the U.S. Navy also confirmed on Twitter. The shooter is “confirmed dead,” the Escambia County Sheriff wrote on its Facebook page on December 6, 2019. “The ECSO can confirm there is no longer an active shooter on NAS Pensacola.” The conditions of those wounded were not released.
At 6:51 a.m., the call went out, according to the Escambia County Sheriff, who said he couldn’t release all details because the investigation was ongoing. “I want to assure our community that the threat has been negated. Our community is secure at this time,” he said. “This strikes home particularly hard for me as a retired military member. Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie. You just don’t expect this to happen at home.”
Two officers “negated the threat” and are in the hospital but expected to recover, according to the sheriff, who indicated that one of his officers took down the suspect.
2. Officials Said the Mass Shooting Ignited in a Classroom Building
Although they declined to say which one, the mass shooting started in a classroom building, building 633, authorities revealed in the press conference. Building 633 is the home of the Naval Aviation Schools Command. It is located at 181 Chambers Avenue.
The conditions of the people in the hospital are not yet clear. However, at least two other people have died, the U.S. Navy confirmed.
“One additional fatality has been confirmed. Unknown number of injured people being transferred to local hospitals. NAS Pensacola is on lockdown.” In a follow-up tweet, the Navy wrote, “A second victim has been confirmed deceased.” It was later reported, though, that another victim had died. The victims’ names were not yet released.
You can listen to early scanner audio here. It starts around 22 minutes into the audio file.
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“We have multiple patients at the front gate,” an officer says in the dispatch audio.
3. Three of the 9/11 Hijackers Gave Their Addresses as Being at Naval Air Station Pensacola
Pensacola Florida – Blue AngelsPensacola is home to the world-famous Blue Angels, who practice their amazing aerial stunts throughout the year at NAS Pensacola. Captain Tyson Dunkelberger gives you a closer look at the Blue Angels team and the National Naval Aviation Museum.2010-01-15T15:01:07.000Z
In the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11, Newsweek reported that three of the hijackers had the addresses on their driver’s licenses listed as being at NAS Pensacola. The article notes that Naval Air Station Pensacola is known as the “Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation.” Those three hijackers were all Saudi-nationals.
The Navy Times reported in February 2016 that NAS Pensacola officials had increased security measures at the base, after the base had been known was “unusually open” for years.
The Pensacola News Journal reported in September 2019 the “new, top-secret classrooms” had been built on the base to counteract the threat caused by cyber terrorism.
4. The Mass Shooting Comes 2 Days After 2 People Were Shot Dead at Pearl Harbor By a Member of the U.S. Navy
FacebookVincent Kapoi Jr.
The reports are very preliminary. The reports of a Pensacola active shooter come after an active shooter wounded three people, killing two of them, at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. In that incident, Vincent Kapoi Jr. (above) was named as one of the deceased victims.
In the Pearl Harbor incident, Gabriel Romero was identified as the U.S. sailor who shot three Department of Defense civilian workers at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, killing two. Romero, 22, then shot himself. He was using his service weapon. He was an on-duty submariner who had faced disciplinary problems at work. You can read more about that incident here.
According to its website, NAS Pensacola, situated in Escambia County, “employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel. This includes major tenant commands: Naval Aviation Schools Command, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 and 23, the Blue Angels, and the headquarters for Naval Education Training Command, a command which combines direction and control of all Navy education and training.”
The motive for the mass shooting is not yet clear. It’s also not clear where on the base the shooting occurred.
“#BREAKING: We are aware of reports of a possible active shooter at Naval Air Station,” the U.S. Navy wrote on its Twitter page.
CNN called a dispatcher at the Naval Air Station and was told: “We have an active situation right now.” There was a massive law enforcement response. “I can confirm there is an active shooter on NAS Pensacola and it’s going on right now,” said Amber Southard, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman, to CNN.
NorthEscambia.com reported that there was a World War II Remembrance ceremony planned for 10 a.m. at the National Naval Aviation Museum, although there’s no indication it’s related. The Tate High School Vocal Jazz and Wind Ensemble was supposed to perform but weren’t on the base yet when the mass shooting broke out, according to the news site.
5. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz Has Called for the Shooting to Be Investigated as an Act of Terrorism
Update on Shooting at Naval Air Station PensacolaPlease pray for our military service members, law enforcement, and other first responders as they work to address the situation. #Activeshooter #navalairstationpensacola2019-12-06T15:15:22.000Z
Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who represents the district where NAS Pensacola is located, has called for the shooting to be investigated as an act of terror. Rep. Gaetz told CNN, “We can safely call this an act of terrorism, not an act of workplace violence.” The base’s commanding officer, Capt. Timothy F. Kinsella Jr., has refused to say if the incident will be investigated as an act of terror.
While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for the Saudi Arabian government to aid in the investigation into Alshamrani’s actions