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Pensacola Navy base shooting suspect is Saudi military member; possibly ‘terrorism-related’

The main gate at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Navy Boulevard in Pensacola, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Nichols)
December 06, 2019

The Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting suspect is a Saudi Arabian Air Force member and the Friday morning incident — that left the suspect and three victims dead, and eight others wounded — is being investigated as a possible terrorism incident.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed at a 12:50 p.m. CST press conference that the suspect is a member of the Saudi Air Force.

DeSantis, a Navy veteran, called the incident a “dark day for a great place.”

A U.S. official told the Associated Press previously that the suspect was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia.

The base commanding officer Capt. Timothy F. Kinsella Jr. confirmed that the suspect was an aviation student and was not authorized to have a weapon on base.

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“Weapons are not authorized on base. You cannot bring a weapon on base unless you’re a member of the security forces,” he said.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said the suspect used a handgun.

The naval station is a training base and attracts military personnel from all over the world. Kinsella said “a couple hundred” foreign military personnel are training at the base.

Congressman Matt Gaetz said on Twitter of the incident, “This was not a murder. This was an act of terrorism.”

Gaetz vowed to “ensure there’s extreme vetting for people who come to our country and train on our bases.”

Kinsella confirmed had this morning that the shooting took place inside one of the training base’s classroom buildings on at least two floors.

The suspect was killed at the scene by an Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy. Two other victims died at the scene, and the third fatal victim died at the hospital.

Seven others remain hospitalized with injuries, including two officers who were shot in the arm and knee, respectively.

The FBI has reportedly taken over the investigation.

The base remains closed until further notice.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office had posted on Facebook at 7:47 a.m. CST saying that the shooter is confirmed to be dead.