The attacker who used a handgun to kill three and injure seven people at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida was a Saudi officer who was in the US for training, local officials confirmed.
Citing five US officials and a person familiar with the investigation, CNN reported that the attacker was “a member of the Saudi Arabian military” who was undergoing training at the facility. Pensacola officials confirmed that this was the case in a press conference shortly afterward.
The shooter was killed in a shootout with Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies on Friday morning. His name has not been released, however.
The Saudi officer is one of dozens of international aviators currently training at NAS Pensacola, local authorities told reporters.
Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), who represents the district where the base is located, said in a video message on Friday that the training the US military provides to allies is helpful, but that “this event demonstrates a serious failure in the vetting process.”
Gaetz said he would push for “extreme vetting for people who come to our country and train on our bases.”