- U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Nichols
- A shooting at a US naval base in Florida on Friday morning left four people dead, including the gunman, and seven others injured.
- The shooting began just before 7 a.m. CT (8 a.m. ET) at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
- The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook at 7:48 a.m. that the shooting was over and that the shooter had been confirmed dead.
- The shooting happened two days after an active-duty US sailor opened fire at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, killing two people before shooting himself, authorities said.
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A shooting in a classroom building at a Florida naval base on Friday morning left four people dead, including the gunman, and seven others injured.
News of the shooting stunned the US Navy, already reeling from another fatal shooting at a base only two days before.
Jason Bortz, a spokesman for Naval Air Station Pensacola, confirmed to the Pensacola News Journal that an active shooter was reported just before 7 a.m. CT (8 a.m. ET).
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook at 7:48 a.m. that the shooting was over and that the shooter had been confirmed dead.
The US Navy initially said two people were killed in the shooting.
#UPDATE: A second victim has been confirmed deceased.
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) December 6, 2019
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office later said four people total had died: Three were killed at the base, and one died at a local hospital.
Seven others, including two responding officers, were injured. One officer was shot in the arm, and the other was shot in the knee and was in surgery on Friday morning.
The Navy confirmed the information on Twitter.
#UPDATE: Shooter and three victims confirmed deceased with multiple others injured and being treated at local hospitals. NAS Pensacola remains in lockdown.
Full Press Release: https://t.co/KJdL3SLPvO
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) December 6, 2019
Citing law-enforcement officials, NBC’s Pete Williams described the suspect as a foreign national who was in the US for training. Other outlets said authorities identified the suspect as a Saudi aviation student.
Authorities said they would release the victims’ identities after their families had been notified. They declined to say whether the shooting was being investigated as terrorism-related.
The naval base said on social media that it was on lockdown after reports of the shooting.
Family members of base personnel were awaiting news about their loved ones amid the lockdown and subsequent closure of the base, a center for training Navy and Marine Corps aviators and a hub for the Navy’s education command that oversees professional training.
“For those who are on the base, can you make sure that your sailors reach out to friends and family so that we know they are safe!!!” one person commented on a US Navy Facebook page. “For those of us that thousands of miles away, we are worried sick!!! Please please please please!”
Vice President Mike Pence, whose son is a Marine aviator, said in a statement that he was “praying for the victims & their families.”
Saddened to hear of the horrible shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola & continuing to monitor the situation. Praying for the victims & their families & we commend the first responders for their swift action in taking down the shooter & getting those on base to safety.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) December 6, 2019
President Donald Trump was slower to respond, initially retweeting a report about the confirmation of the shooter’s death before tweeting about the latest jobs-report numbers. On Friday afternoon, the president tweeted that his “thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.”
Just received a full briefing on the tragic shooting at NAS Pensacola in Florida, and spoke to @GovRonDeSantis. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time. We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
The shooting came two days after an active-duty US sailor opened fire at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, killing two people and injuring one before shooting himself, authorities said.
“This has been a devastating week for our US Navy family,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday wrote on Twitter. “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.”