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An active shooter who opened fire in a classroom building at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida killed three people and wounded seven more, but the gunman is now dead, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities described the horrific scene as looking “like a movie,” but it was all too real.
Four people are deceased (including the suspect), and those wounded include two sheriff’s deputies, according to the sheriff. The shooting unfolded in a classroom. The deputies were shot in the knee and arm but are expected to live.
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.
“Active shooter is deceased,” the U.S. Navy also confirmed on Twitter. “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.”
“Both gates of NASP are currently secured due to reports of an active shooter. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” NAS Pensacola wrote on its Facebook page. “The base is closed for the remainder of the day. Only essential personnel will be allowed onto the base.”
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.
According to WEAR-TV, deputies shot and killed the suspect, who has not yet been identified. You can listen to the Escambia County dispatch here.
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. They also come after a wild police chase of a stolen UPS truck in the Miami area left four people dead, including the UPS truck driver, who was taken hostage, and an innocent bystander.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Dispatcher Said There Was an Active Shooter Situation Unfolding at the Base, Reports Say
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.
There may be a number of casualties, according to WEAR-TV. NorthEscambia.com reported that there was a 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 wasn’t on the base yet when the mass shooting broke out, according to the news site.
This post is being updated as more information is learned about the active shooter situation.