A Saudi national has been recognized by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis because the suspect in a Friday morning shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, that left four dead, including the suspect, and eight people wounded.
The gunman was training in aviation on the base, which hosts army from across the globe, DeSantis mentioned. The FBI has taken the lead within the investigation.
The shooter, recognized by three sources as Mohammed Alshamrani, started his three-year course in August 2017 with English, basic aviation and initial pilot training, stated the officers, who were not authorized to talk publicly because of the ongoing investigation.
He was considered one of 852 Saudi nationals in the USA training beneath the Pentagon’s security cooperation agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, based on a Defense official.
The gunman has been decried as “barbaric” by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, based on President Donald Trump.
“Clearly, the federal government of Saudi Arabia must make things better for these victims,” DeSantis mentioned in a press conference. “They’re going to owe a debt right here.”
Here is what we all know about the Saudi national and why he was on the base.
Why was a Saudi national taking classes at a US Naval base?
Officials mentioned the shooter was collaborating in an aviation training program on the Naval Air Station. Training international students at NAS Pensacola is a core part of the base’s mission.
The bottom’s Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity Worldwide Training Center is a department on base that focuses on training aviators from different nations and forging international partnerships.
NITC has a number of partnerships with the Royal Saudi Air Forces, including an undergraduate pilot basic aviation preparatory training course, a senior executive leadership course and a junior officer enhanced leadership course.
Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Kinsella mentioned Friday that “a couple hundred” international college students are training on the base.
What’s the vetting process for international students?
International college students can complete all or a part of the standard 18-month syllabus on base and should go through a number of federal vetting processes before training at NAS Pensacola.
Foreign army trainees are vetted before traveling to the USA. U.S. embassy personnel research information bases for actions such as support for terrorism, drug trafficking, corruption and other criminal habits. Travel orders are denied to those that fail to cross the screening, the official mentioned.
“The way that program works is that the foreign authorities has to certify that these are the perfect of their greatest, that these are their future generals and admirals and senior army officers for their nations,” mentioned U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “The U.S. State Department does a scrub on these potential trainees, and after that they matriculate into the program.”
Do we all know the motive for the shooting?
Officials haven’t released a motive for the shooting.
Trump on Friday declined to say whether the shooting was associated to terrorism however added authorities can be releasing a report shortly.
“That’s all being studied now,” Trump mentioned of the assault. “We will likely be talking about it very soon.”
Whereas weapons aren’t permitted on the base, the shooter used a handgun, stated Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
The shooting started round 6:30 a.m. CT and the suspect was halted by two Escambia County sheriff’s deputies, who arrived on scene in less than 5 minutes, Morgan stated. One of many deputies fatally shot the gunman, he stated.
What has been Saudi Arabia’s response?
King Salman of Saudi Arabia called Trump to express his condolences over the assault, the president stated Friday.
“It is a horrible thing that occurred and we’re getting to the bottom of it,” Trump instructed reporters before a roundtable discussion on small enterprise and red tape reduction.