Naval Air Station Pensacola shooter was Saudi aviation student, investigators eye potential terror link

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The gunman who opened fire Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, fatally shooting three people, has been identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, an aviation student from Saudi Arabia, and investigators are looking into whether the attack is terrorism-related, a U.S. official told Fox News.

The shooter — who was wielding a handgun, despite firearms not being allowed on base — was confronted and taken out by a pair of responding officers, officials said. Two people were killed at the scene while a third victim died after being rushed to a local hospital. Seven others suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment, including the two officers, one of whom was shot in the arm and the other in the knee. Both are expected to survive.

Investigators have not yet determined a motive and were not ready to confirm the shooter’s identity, Rachel Rojas, an FBI Special Agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office said at a news conference late Friday.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Larry Keefe, also added that more details about the shooter are expected to become available on Saturday.

Six Saudis were also arrested near the scene of the shooting on Friday and are being questioned by investigators, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.

“The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said he had spoken to President Trump about the shooting, told reporters during a news conference Friday afternoon. “They are going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals.”

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “its deep distress” following the shooting and offered “its sincere condolences to the victims’ families, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery,” they said in a statement on Friday.

“The perpetrator of this horrific attack does not represent the Saudi people whatsoever. The American people are held in the highest regard by the Saudi people,” the statement said.

“Building upon the strong ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, and in continuation of the ongoing cooperation between the two countries’ security agencies, the Saudi security agencies will provide full support to the US authorities to investigate the circumstances of this crime.​” – READ MORE

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