Saudi aviation student suspected in NAS Pensacola shooting

Posted on December 6, 2019 by Romi White

A Saudi national aviation student is the suspect in a mass shooting which took place this morning at NAS Pensacola. The incident left four dead, including the suspect, and at least eight others were injured, including two Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies who responded to the scene.

The suspect, whose identification has not yet been officially confirmed, was fatally shot by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, which reported the active shooter threat had been neutralized.

When asked by a reporter during a Friday afternoon press conference with officials including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan would not confirm Mohammed Alshamrani as the dead suspect.

“I know the answers to your questions,” Morgan told reporters, pointing out that he was not the appropriate authority to release such information. He also asked the media for patience. “This will be a lengthy investigation,” he said, noting some related information may never be able to be disclosed.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chip Simmons said both injured officers were expected to recover — one deputy received a gunshot to the arm, and the other had surgery following a gunshot to the knee.

NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Tim Kinsella issued praise for the response to the situation.

“There’s some real heroism today,” Kinsella said, adding, “The days ahead are going to be difficult when in finally sinks in what happened here so that’s where most of our efforts will be going to.”

DeSantis, a U.S. Navy Veteran, said lives were saved because of the response. He said he had spoken to U.S. President Donald J. Trump via phone regarding the matter.

“When you have a foreign national involved, especially in that part of the world, the investigation is going to be different,” DeSantis said.

Kinsella said currently there are hundreds of international students studying at the installation.

“It’s something we’ve been doing for quite a while, cross-training with allies,” Kinsella said. “There’s always been international students training here because it’s a good place to train.”

Kinsella said the suspect had been studying aviation.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson thanked DeSantis and all first responders. “This is a tragic day for the City of Pensacola…we will bounce back from this.”

1:54 p.m. UPDATE Baptist Hospital has issued their final statement on the incident:

Baptist Hospital continues to care for the patients from NAS Pensacola. We received eight patients. Baptist Hospital services have not been interrupted. All services are fully operational. If you have an appointment on our campus, it is not affected by this event.

While we never expect something like this to happen in our community, our Baptist Health Care teams train continuously to respond, rendering exceptional care. All of our responding departments, particularly the emergency department, went into immediate action to care for these individuals, exercising great urgency, compassion and medical expertise.

We thank our partners at NAS Pensacola, Escambia County emergency management services and law enforcement for their tremendous coordinated response. We also thank the medical community and government agencieslocal, state and nationalwho reached out to offer support. In addition, we are grateful to members of our community who reached out to offer assistance and prayers. Please note that we do have an adequate supply of blood; however, we always encourage blood donations be given to One Blood.