On Friday a mass shooter opened fire on a Navy base in Pensacola Florida leaving at least four dead, and several more wounded.
For the second time this week, a deadly shooting unfolded at a US Navy base Friday when a gunman killed at least three people and injured several others at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
The suspected shooter, who was also killed, was a member of the Saudi Arabian military training at the station, according to five US defense officials and another person familiar with the investigation. Investigators are looking into whether the shooting was terror-related as a possible motive, but it’s still early in the investigation.
Within hours of the deadly shooting, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida released a statement condemning the shooting as an act of terror.
“Major news organizations are now reporting the information that we began to learn earlier this morning that it was a Saudi Arabian military official in Pensacola, in our community for training, who committed these murderous acts and this terrible, terrible violence at NAS Pensacola,” Gaetz said. “I think it’s important for us to know a little bit about why Saudi Arabian officials are in our community.”
We're learning a Saudi Arabian military member in Pensacola committed these murders. I'm working with the @DeptofDefense, @StateDept, and @DHSgov to ensure there's extreme vetting for people who come to our country and train on our bases. pic.twitter.com/LUhSE6UAHO — Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 6, 2019
“Training is a critical part of the mission that we engage in in NAS Pensacola. One way that we leverage that training is to ensure that our allies around the world are capable and familiar with U.S. systems, that they’re comfortable working with U.S. officers, and that we have an interoperability in our lexicon and in the way we engage in battle.”
“This event represents a serious failure in the vetting process and in the way in which we invite these people into our community. So today, as we learn more as the investigation continues to unfold … I’m going to be very active in working with the Department of Defense and the Department of State to ensure that we have extreme vetting for the people that come into our country on our bases and in our communities.”
Later, Gaetz tweeted that this was indeed an act of terror.
During an interview with CNN Gaetz said “If this were a murder, it would typically be investigated by NCIS … but this was not a murder.”
“This was an act of terrorism and as we speak the investigation is being handed over from the NCIS to the FBI, that is the signal that this will now be treated by our government as an act of terrorism, not a murder.”