A shooter opened fire in a classroom building at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola on Friday morning in an attack that left four people dead, including the assailant, and multiple people wounded. The shooting — the second at a U.S. Navy base this week — prompted a massive law enforcement response and a lockdown at the base.
Authorities said the naval base shooting suspect was a Saudi aviation student. They are investigating to learn if the shooting was terrorism-related.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said four people had been killed and that the two sheriff’s deputies who were the first to respond, including one who killed the shooter, were wounded but expected to recover.
Eight people were taken to Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, and one of them died, Morgan said.
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.
Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh, who works at the Naval Air Station as a civilian contractor, told the Pensacola News Journal he was in line to go through the gate Friday morning when it was shut down due to the active shooter report.
“There’s probably been 100 or so various law enforcement vehicles zooming down the wrong side on Navy Boulevard,” Bergosh told the newspaper. “There’s been ambulances, fire trucks. It’s my understanding there’s multiple causalities.