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UPDATES: Pensacola Naval Air Base Shooting Suspect From Saudi Arabia; Officials Investigating If Terror-Related

By  James Barrett
A Twin-Engine U.S. Navy T-39 Sabreliner Sits On The Tarmac May 9, 2002 At The Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fl. Two T-39S From The Training Squadron 86, Similar To This One, Crashed Into The Gulf Of Mexico May 8, 2002 With Seven Crew Members Aboard. Search And Rescue Operations Continue And No Trace Of Any Crew Members Has Been Found Amid Four Debris Fields. (Photo By U.S. Navy/Getty Images)
U.S. Navy/Getty Images

This article has been updated to include the latest information.

An individual identified as an aviation student from Saudi Arabia who opened fire at a naval air base in Pensacola, Florida, has been confirmed dead, while at least ten victims have been transported to nearby hospitals after suffering injuries related to the shooting. At least three of the shooting victims have died.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, a spokeswoman from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) confirmed Friday morning that the active shooter who opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola is dead. “ECSO spokeswoman Amber Southard confirmed the shooter was dead just before 8 a.m. Friday,” the Journal reports.

In an update on the developing story, the Associated Press reports that a U.S. official says the suspect “was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia and authorities are investigating if the shooting was terrorism-related.” (UPDATE: Attacker At Florida Military Base Was Member Of Saudi Military, ‘Was An Act Of Terrorism,’ Congressman Says)

Authorities say the shooting took place in a classroom building on the base and was first reported at 6:51 a.m.

According to Sheriff David Morgan, a total of 11 people were injured, four of them, including the shooter, having died from the wounds.

A spokesperson for Baptist Hospital has confirmed that seven patients who suffered injuries related to the shooting are being treated at the hospital. Early reports that some of the victims were transported to Sacred Heart Hospital were incorrect.

“Two ECSO deputies are among those injured and are hospitalized,” the Journal reported in a 9:45 a.m. update. “One was shot in the arm and one was shot in the knee. The deputy who was shot in the knee is undergoing surgery.”

The updates follow earlier reports that at around 7:00 a.m. authorities were working to “take down” an active shooter on the base, as the Journal first reported.

“Amber Southard, spokeswoman for the ECSO, said little information is available at the moment, but shots have been fired on base and a heavy law enforcement presence is there to eliminate the threat,” the outlet reported in a 7:30 a.m. update to its original report. “Scanner traffic for Escambia County Fire and Rescue indicated 10 patients are being transported to local hospitals.”

“Three medical helicopters are in route and several military ambulances have also been seen in the area,” the Journal noted.

A spokesman for NAS Pensacola confirmed to USA Today that the active shooter was reported around 7 a.m. Friday, prompting both gates to be closed and the base to go on lock down.

“The reports come two days after a U.S. Navy sailor shot three people, then killed himself at Pearl Harbor,” USA Today notes.

According to NAS Pensacola’s website, the base employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel.

This is a developing story. This article has been updated to include the latest information.
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