According to the Associated Press, days before his deadly attack at the Pensacola naval base, the shooter held a dinner party where he and three others watched videos of mass shootings. In Friday’s assault, a Saudi student, who has been identified as Mohammed Saeed A Alshamrani, opened fire in a classroom killing three people and wounding eight others until he was shot dead by Escambia County sheriff’s deputies. All of the shots had been fired inside of the classroom. My colleague, Nick Arama, posted on this story here.
On Saturday, a U.S. official who had been briefed by federal authorities, spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity. The official said, “One of the three students who attended the dinner party videotaped outside the building while the shooting was taking place at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday. The two other Saudi students watched from a car.”
A US official says the Saudi student who fatally shot three people at a Florida naval base had hosted a dinner party the night before to watch videos of mass shootings. https://t.co/gZzeVS9qfk
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 7, 2019
The official also informed the AP that “ten Saudi students were being held on the base Saturday while several others were unaccounted for.”
A different U.S. official had previously told the AP that the “FBI was examining social media posts and investigating whether he acted alone or was connected to any broader group.”
On Friday night, the New York Times reported that six Saudis had been detained after the attack, three of whom had filmed “the entire incident.”
It’s not clear if the three students who had dinner and watched videos with Alshamrani earlier this week had known about his plans beforehand. Surely, they must have found it odd that he showed videos of mass shootings.
UPDATE: Officials have identified the Pensacola naval base shooting suspect as Mohammed Saeed A Alshamrani. Authorities say they are investigating if the incident is terrorism-related. The latest here: https://t.co/eUmEqv4RU7 pic.twitter.com/dr6bm4CeLO
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) December 6, 2019