Two Mass Shootings in Three Days at U.S. Navy Installations

NAS Pensacola (file image)

Published Dec 6, 2019 2:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday, a foreign national opened fire on personnel at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, killing three and injuring seven. Local law enforcement personnel neutralized the shooter about one hour after the incident began, bringing the total death toll to four. 

Two of the injured were civilian law enforcement responders, according to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. Both are expected to recover. 

In a statement Friday morning, the Navy said that the base was still in lockdown as first responders secure the scene. Base security and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are currently investigating the incident. The names of the victims will not be released until after the next of kin have been notified.

"This is a dark day for a very great place," said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. "But I can tell you, lives were saved because of people in uniform with the Navy and in uniform with Escambia County (Sheriff's Office)."

U.S officials have identified the shooter as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi national and a member of the Saudi Air Force who was in the United States for aviation training. Investigators are examining whether the incident may have been an act of terrorism rather than a non-terrorism mass shooting.

The shooting at NAS Pensacola follows just two days after another active shooter incident at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. In that casualty, an active-duty American sailor shot and killed two shipyard workers and wounded another, then committed suicide. 

"This has been a devastating week for our Navy family. Our hearts break for those who lost their lives in Pensacola and the wrenching pain it causes their loved ones. When tragedy hits, as it did today, and Wednesday in Pearl Harbor, it is felt by all. Those who grieve do not do so alone. We grieve together alongside you," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday in a statement Friday.