Tue, 11 Aug 2020

An aviation student from the Saudi Air Force who was in the United States for military training was the suspect in a shooting attack at a U.S. Navy base in Florida in which four people were killed and eight were wounded on December 6, according to the state governor and other officials.

Four people including the shooter were killed in the incident at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, the navy and local sheriff's office said.

It was the second deadly shooting at a U.S. military installation this week.

U.S President Donald Trump said that Saudi Arabia's King Salman called him to send condolences and his sympathy to the victims.

'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,' Trump tweeted.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that the suspect was a Saudi citizen attending training at the base as part of a long-standing navy program open to U.S. allies. The suspect's motive was still under investigation.

The suspect fired a handgun in the attack.

U.S. media, citing two U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that the suspected shooter was Second Lieutenant Muhammad Saeed Alshamrani.

A November 15 news release by the U.S. military said that 18 naval aviators and two aircrew members from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces were training with the U.S. Navy, including at Pensacola.

U.S. military bases have seen deadly mass shootings before, including one in Ford Hood, Texas in 2009 that left 13 dead and one at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013 that killed 12.

On December 4, a sailor shot three civilians at the historic Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii, killing two of them before taking his own life.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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