A member of the Royal Saudi Air Force opened fire with a handgun early Friday in a classroom building at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., where he was training to become a pilot, killing three people in what some elected officials called an act of terrorism.
The gunman, a Saudi national identified by a United States military official as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was killed by a sheriff’s deputy. Eight people were also wounded on the base, according to Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County.
The shooting took place over two floors in a classroom, the sheriff said. Two deputies were shot in the gun battle, but were expected to recover.
Six other Saudi nationals were detained for questioning near the scene of the shooting, including three who were seen filming the entire incident, the New York Times quoted a person as briefing on the initial stages of the investigation.
The gunman used a locally purchased Glock 45 9-millimeter handgun with an extended magazine and had four to six other magazines in his possession when he was taken down by a sheriff’s deputy, according to the person with knowledge of the investigation.
It was the second shooting at a Navy base this week and sent sailors scrambling to lock the doors of their barracks or flee the base altogether.
Officials were searching for the gunman’s motives. Two federal law enforcement officials said it was too early to say if the shooting was an act of terrorism, but several Florida politicians labeled it that.
Source: US media