Authorities Investigate Possible Terror Ties in Pensacola Naval Air Station Shooting

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An active shooter situation at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola Friday morning ended with a suspect and three victims dead and multiple people hospitalized, authorities said.

The shooting happened around 6:30 a.m. inside a classroom at the training base in Florida’s Panhandle, authorities said.

A US official said the suspect – identified by law enforcement sources to NBC News as Mohammed Saeed A Alshamrani – was an aviation student originally from Saudi Arabia and authorities are investigating if the incident was terrorism-related.

Escambia County Sheriff spokeswoman Amber Southland confirmed there was an active shooter situation at the station, and U.S. Navy officials later confirmed that the suspect was dead and that three victims were also killed.

A total of seven people were wounded in the shooting, including two Escambia County deputies who responded and killed the gunman, officials said at a news conference Friday morning.

One deputy was shot in the arm, while the other deputy was shot in the knee. Both were expected to fully recover. The conditions of the other victims were unknown.

“Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie,” Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. “You just don’t expect this to happen at home, this doesn’t happen in Escambia County, it doesn’t happen in Pensacola. It doesn’t happen to our friends and neighbors who are members of the United States Navy, but it did and it has.”

Jason Bortz, a public affairs officer for the station, also confirmed to NBC News that the base was placed on lockdown. They started receiving calls at 6:30 a.m. and local authorities and military police responded.

The station posted an alert on Facebook about the situation.

“Both gates of NASP are currently secured due to reports of an active shooter. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” the alert read.

NAS Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to its website. One of the Navy’s most historic and storied bases, it sprawls along the waterfront southwest of downtown Pensacola and dominates the economy of the surrounding area.

It’s home to the Blue Angels flight demonstration team, and includes the National Naval Aviation Museum, a popular regional tourist attraction.

The shooting is the second at a U.S. naval base this week. A sailor whose submarine was docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, opened fire on three civilian employees Wednesday, killing two before taking his own life.

No other information was immediately known.

Check back with NBC 6 for updates.


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