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World

AFP
December 7, 2019

Military student kills three at US navy base

World

AFP
Sat, Dec 07, 2019

MIAMI: An air force trainee opened fire on Friday at a US naval base, killing three people before being shot dead by police, officials said.

The shooting, which took place at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, left eight people injured including two sheriff´s deputies who responded to the attack.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the shooter was from Saudi Arabia, attending the flight school in Florida.

"There´s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi air force and then to be here training on our soil," DeSantis told a press conference.

"Obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims. And I think they are going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals."

Commanding officer Timothy Kinsella said the shooter -- whose name authorities declined to release -- was an aviation trainee, one of "a couple hundred" foreign students present at the base.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time," President Donald Trump tweeted.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing."

Federal agencies are investigating, authorities said, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Just two days prior on Wednesday, a US sailor fatally shot two people and wounded a third at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii before taking his own life.

- Military rarely targeted -

The Pensacola naval air station hosts 16,000 military personnel and more than 7,000 civilians, and is home to a flight demonstration squadron.

It is an early training center for naval pilots, and is known as the "cradle of Naval aviation."

The base is the center for the US Navy foreign military training programs, established in 1985 specifically for Saudi students before being expanded to other nationalities.

While mass shootings in the United States are common, those at military facilities are rare.