The man who authorities say opened fire at a naval air base in Pensacola, Florida, in an attack that left three people dead has reportedly been identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force.
The Hill reported that the FBI officially identified Mohammed Alshamrani as the Pensacola shooter and described him as a “2nd LT in the Royal Saudi Air Force who was a student naval flight officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command.” The Saturday night report is the first connecting the now-deceased shooter to the Saudi military, though he had already been identified as a Saudi aviation student.
Three people were killed and eight others were injured during the shooting, though authorities said the death toll could have been higher were it not for the actions of a mortally wounded man to alert authorities and help end the shooting.
The attack remains under investigation and there are conflicting reports over whether it is being considered an act of terrorism. While Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Saturday that they were not characterizing it as terrorism, the New York Times reported that some politicians believe it will be viewed as such.
“In my judgment, based upon all of the evidence I have seen, the FBI will open this as an international terrorism case,” said Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas, a who serves on the Homeland Security Committee.
McCaul added that the FBI had briefed his staff on the investigation.
There is not yet any direct evidence connecting the attack to terrorism. Federal officials investigating the shooting have not uncovered any links between the gunman and international terrorist groups, the New York Times reported.
There are signs that the attack was well-planned and coordinated. As The Inquisitr reported, three of the Saudi nationals questioned by federal investigators after the shooting were reportedly seen filming the attack as it took place. Other reports indicate that the shooter was preparing for the attack, including watching videos of other mass shootings the night prior to the attack.
Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that he spoke directly with Saudi Arabian King Salman, saying that “they are devastated in Saudi Arabia” over the attack. The day before, Trump had taken to Twitter to pass along condolences from Salman.
“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 wrote.