Saudi Arabian leaders reached out to the United States on Friday to express condolences after one of their citizens was identified as the shooter in an incident that left four people dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola, in the U.S. state of Florida.
Others, including responding law enforcement officers, were injured in the attack.
A U.S. military spokesman said Saudi Arabian military officer Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was responsible for an early-morning attack at the base, where he was in aviation training.
“We express our deep sorrow and grief over the shooting incident by a Saudi student in Florida state,” said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry “affirms that the perpetrator of this horrific attack does not represent the Saudi people whatsoever,” and reiterated the high regard in which Saudi Arabia holds Americans.
U.S. President Donald Trump also confirmed a telephone conversation with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. “The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter,” said Trump.
The Saudi government’s messages came as the Pensacola facility shut down for an investigation, and concerns swept the coastal community – and the U.S. nation – over the possibility the incident was linked to terrorism.
“I think there’s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national being a part of the Saudi air force and then to be here training on our soil,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a press conference.
The Saudi government has promised to cooperate with the U.S. investigation.
Image: NAS Pensacola