Pensacola, Florida, Naval Air Station shooting: what we know

By German Lopez

Emergency personnel respond to a shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, on December 6, 2019.
WEAR-TV via Associated Press

A shooter at the Pensacola, Florida, Naval Air Station killed at least three people and injured eight others on Friday morning, local and federal officials confirmed. Sheriff deputies killed the shooter.

“Our community is secure at this time. We have no reason to believe — or are we looking for — any additional shooters within Escambia County,” Sheriff David Morgan said at a press conference.

This story is still developing. Here’s what we know, and don’t, so far.

What we know

  • Around 6:50 am local time on Friday, police received calls of a shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, officials said at a press conference.
  • At least four people, including the shooter, were killed and eight others were injured, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said at a press conference. Two deputies are among the injured.
  • Escambia County sheriff deputies killed the shooter, who used a handgun, officials said at a press conference.
  • A Saudi aviation student is the suspect in the shooting, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said at a press conference. “The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims, and I think that they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals,” DeSantis added.
  • Students from other partner countries, including Saudi Arabia, will sometimes train at the base, officials said at a press conference.
  • The Pensacola Naval Air Station “employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel,” according to the base’s website. Nearly 60,000 students graduate there each year.
Christina Animashaun/Vox
  • “The base is closed for the remainder of the day,” according to the Pensacola Naval Air Station’s Facebook page. “Only essential personnel will be allowed onto the base.”
  • “Just received a full briefing on the tragic shooting at NAS Pensacola in Florida, and spoke to @GovRonDeSantis,” President Donald Trump said on Twitter. “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.”
  • Vice President Mike Pence and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) also responded on Twitter, saying they’re watching the situation and praying for the victims.
  • The FBI has taken over the investigation, an FBI spokesperson told CNN.
  • Before Friday, there were 390 mass shootings in 2019, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The group defines a mass shooting as incidents in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were injured but not necessarily killed in a similar time and place.
  • On Wednesday, a Navy sailor shot three people and killed himself in Pearl Harbor.

What we don’t know

  • The shooter’s identity
  • The shooter’s motive
  • The victims’ identities