A Saudi national has been identified as the suspected gunman in a shooting at a military installation in Pensacola, Florida, CNN reports. At least four people, including the suspected shooter, are dead and at least eight have been injured in the Friday morning shooting.
Early Friday morning, for the second time in three days, a shooting took place at a United States military base, this time at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in the Florida panhandle. At about 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time, shots rang out in a classroom building on the sprawling base. By the time the shooting had stopped, three people had died and multiple others were taken to a hospital.
The gunman exchanged fire with two deputies, who shot and killed him. The deputies sustained minor injuries and are expected to fully recover.
The suspected shooter, whose name has not been revealed as of this writing, was a member of the Saudi Arabian military and was undergoing training at the station. Beyond that, little is known about him, including whether his motive was terrorism.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken over the investigation.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said that President Trump has been briefed on the situation and that the White House is “monitoring” it.
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said that the White House and the Florida Governor’s office have offered local authorities whatever help they need in handling the situation.
We're learning a Saudi Arabian military member in Pensacola committed these murders.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 6, 2019
I'm working with the @DeptofDefense, @StateDept, and @DHSgov to ensure there's extreme vetting for people who come to our country and train on our bases. pic.twitter.com/LUhSE6UAHO
The base remains on lockdown while authorities try to piece together what happened.
“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. But it did, and it has,” said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
About 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel work and live on or near the base.
Rear Adm. John Kirby, who was stationed there at one point in his career, described Pensacola as a “terrific Navy town.”
“They love the base there. It’s a great relationship between the people of Pensacola and the Navy and the base there,” he said.
This was the second deadly shooting at a U.S. Navy installation in a week.
On Wednesday, as The Associated Press reports, a U.S. Navy sailor, Gabriel Romero, 22, fatally shot two people before killing himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. The sailor, who had been undergoing counseling, was reportedly unhappy with his commanders.
This is a developing story. More information about the Pensacola Naval Air Station shooting will be provided as it becomes available.