A Saudi Military Trainee Killed 3 People In Florida In The Second Shooting At A Navy Base This Week

President Trump said the Saudi king called him to offer his condolences.

Three people were killed and eight others injured when a trainee from the Saudi Arabian Air Force opened fire at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida early Friday.

Two people died at the scene, and another died after being transported for treatment. At least seven others were taken to local hospitals. Officials said the shooter was also killed.

The incident marked the second shooting at a naval base just this week. At the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii on Wednesday, a shooter believed to be a US sailor killed two Defense Department employees and injured a third before killing himself.

But the revelation that the gunman on Friday was from Saudi Arabia training in the US caused shock in both countries. President Trump said on Twitter that he had received a call from the Saudi king expressing disbelief and sadness.

"The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter," Trump wrote, "and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."

A statement from the Saudi monarch shared through the country's press agency said he had directed security services there to fully cooperate with US agencies in the investigation.

Officials have so far declined to publicly name the shooter, only that the person was a foreign national studying in the naval aviation program at the station.

The commanding officer at the base, Capt. Tim Kinsella, noted that foreign students have been studying there for many years and that the program was important for collaboration among allies.

“I think there’s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi Air Force," said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, "and then to be here training on our soil [and] do this."

DeSantis added that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were working to answer those questions.

The bloodshed began not long before the sheriff's office received a call at 6:51 a.m. local time about a shooter. A spokesperson for the office said two units responded within minutes and were followed by more later. Officers raced into the multistory building where the shooter was and killed him.

"Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie," said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

"It could have been a lot worse if we didn’t have the response that we did from our local partners," said Kinsella.

Two deputies from the sheriff's office were among the people injured. One was shot in the arm and the other in the knee. Both of the deputies are expected to recover. Officials declined to say who shot the deputies but said "shots were exchanged."

The shooter used a handgun, according to Morgan, and the incident took place in a training facility.

Officials did not answer questions about any motive, citing the ongoing investigation by the FBI.

The base was subsequently shut down, and personnel were removed building by building.

"This is a dark day for a very great place," DeSantis said. "It not only strikes at the heart of the community here in northwest Florida, but throughout the Navy, nationwide, and around the world.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer