Ron DeSantis: Saudi Arabia Owes a Debt to Victims of Pensacola Naval Shooting

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: Governor Ron DeSantis gives a briefing regarding Hurricane Dorian to the media at National Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Hurricane Dorian is expected to become a Category 4 as it approaches Florida in the upcoming days. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty …
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Friday that Saudi Arabia will “owe a debt” to victims of a deadly shooting at a Naval Air Station in Pensacola following confirmation that the suspected gunman was a Saudi national.

“One of the things I talked to [President Donald Trump] about is, given this is a foreign national and employee of a foreign service is… The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims,” De Santis told reporters. “I think they’re gonna owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals.”

The Florida Naval station shooting suspect was an aviation officer in the Saudi Air Force, U.S. officials said Friday, as the FBI and other authorities began investigating the incident to determine if it was terrorism-related.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the suspect was a second lieutenant attending the aviation school at the base. Military from around the globe attend the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for flight training.

The shooter opened fire in a classroom building on Friday morning. The attack left four people dead, including the assailant, and multiple people wounded.

There was no immediate report on the shooting carried by Saudi state media. The kingdom has long relied on the U.S. to train its military.

The suspect has been identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, NBC News reports.

President Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called him to express his condolences for the shooting.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Pensacola, Florida,” he tweeted. “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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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