President Donald Trump confirmed that the suspected shooter who killed three people and wounded 11 others at a Naval base in Pensacola on Friday morning was a Saudi national and announced that he’d spoken with the kingdom’s ruler about the attack.
“King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, whose northwest Florida district includes the base, posted a video on Twitter describing some of the base’s operations, including how it trains foreign allies.
“Training is a critical part of the mission we engage in at NAS Pensacola. One way we leverage that training is try to ensure sure our allies around the world are capable and familiar with U.S. systems, that they are comfortable working with U.S. officers and that we have an interoperability in our lexicon and in the way that we engage in battle,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia has long sent people to northwest florida for this purpose,” he continued, though he said Friday’s attack represented a “serious failure in the vetting process” of foreigners coming to train at the base.
The name of the suspect in Friday’s shooting has not yet been released, but Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced the shooter was killed by sheriff’s deputies who responded to the scene.
According to Morgan, his office received a report of an active shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola just before 7 a.m. Two deputies arrived to the scene not long after, when they exchanged gunfire with the shooter and ultimately killed him, he said during a press conference.
The shooting Friday was the second at a Navy facility in three days after two civilian Pentagon employees were killed by a shooter at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu on Wednesday. That shooter, an active-duty sailor, then took his own life.
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