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Gunman who killed 3 at Florida Navy base was Saudi aviation student

By Don Jacobson & Danielle Haynes

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A gunman who shot several people at a U.S. naval base in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday, killing three, was a Saudi aviation trainee, local officials said.

The U.S. Navy said the shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola died in the attack and there were eight people injured. Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said two deputies exchanged gunfire with the shooter, killing him.

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The sheriff said the shooter, whose name wasn't released, used a handgun. Weapons are not authorized on the base.

The base was immediately locked down.

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Authorities said eight people were taken to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, which was also locked down for a short time after the attack. Two Escambia County Sheriff's deputies sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed the shooter's nationality, saying Saudi Arabia "needs to make things better for these victims."

"I think they're going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals," he said during an afternoon news conference.

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Capt. Tim Kinsella, base commander, said the shooter was one of a "couple hundred" international aviation students at the base.

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"Cross-training with our allies is something we've done for a long time," he said. "It's a good place to train."

The FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were leading the investigation into the shooting.

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"The investigation is going to be different than if it were somebody from the local community," DeSantis said.

President Donald Trump said Saudi King Salman called him to "express his sincere condolences" to the victims of the shooting.

"The king said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people," Trump tweeted.

Pensacola is located in the far west of Florida's panhandle, near the Alabama border about 175 miles west of Tallahassee.

Friday's is the second deadly shooting at a U.S. Navy installation in three days. A sailor shot two people dead Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu, Hawaii. A third person was injured before the shooter killed himself, officials said.

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