Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in U.S. Navy base rampage – FBI

epa08050896 (FILE) - A handout file photo made available by the US Navy shows the main gate of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola on Navy Boulevard in Pensacola, Florida, USA, 16 March 2016 (issued 07 December 2019). Media reports state that a gunman on 06 December 2019 opened fire inside the Naval Air Station Pensacola killing three people and injuring at least eight others. The attacker, identified as a member of the Saudi Air Force and an aviation student at the base who had been in the country since August 2017, was shot dead by authorities, media added. Officials have not yet determined a motive for the shooting. EPA-EFE/US NAVY/PATRICK NICHOLSs HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

PENSACOLA, Fla., Dec 8 (Reuters) - Investigators believe a Saudi Air Force lieutenant acted alone on Friday when he killed three people and wounded eight at a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida before being fatally shot by police, the FBI said on Sunday.

By Brad Brooks

Rachel Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville office, said the shooter used a Glock model 45 9mm handgun that he had purchased legally in Florida.

“We currently assess there was one gunman who perpetrated this attack and no arrests have been made in this case,” Rojas, the lead investigator on the case, said at a news conference.

“We are looking very hard at uncovering his motive and I would ask for patience so we can get this right,” she said.

Authorities confirmed the suspect was a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force who was on the base as part of a U.S. Navy training program designed to foster links with foreign allies.

The FBI identified him as Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21.

A sheriff’s deputy fatally shot the gunman, authorities said, ending the second deadly attack at a U.S. military base within a week. Within hours, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had called U.S. President Donald Trump to extend his condolences and pledge his kingdom’s support in the investigation.

Rojas said there were several Saudi students who were close to the shooter and are cooperating with investigators.

“Their Saudi commanding officer has restricted them to base, and the Saudi government has pledged to fully cooperate with our investigation,” she said. “I thank the kingdom for their pledge of full and complete cooperation.”

(Reporting by Brad Brooks; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Daniel Wallis)


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