The primary cause of a fatal mass shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola late last year was the “self-radicalization” of the shooter, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, the U.S. Navy said in a statement released Friday.
The Navy said the findings of their command investigation match that of the FBI’s report, which laid most of the blame for the deaths of three men and wounding of eight others at Saudi 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Al-shamrani, who had been undergoing flight training at the time. The investigation found a number of other potential contributing factors into the shooting.
“Military leaders, government employees, contracted employees, peers knew of isolated events and indicators but all remained unaware of a complete picture of 2nd Lt. Al-Shamrani’s potential threat indicators,” the report states.
In February 2002, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the shooting, after the Department of Justice said they officially classified the incident as an “act of terrorism’ and
Pentagon officials directed a fleet-wide safety stand-down and ordered more active shooter training programs. In January 2020, the Department of Defense ordered enhanced screening and vetting for military students going through training at U.S. military bases.
Lt. Al-Shammari was armed with a 9 mm Glock handgun and several extra ammo magazines when he opened fire in one of the classroom buildings at the iconic Navy station. He moved through two floors of the building, discharging his weapon at both, before being shot and killed during a gunfight with two local sheriff’s deputies.
Navy officials said further security measures are in the works, including improving mass warning and alert notification capabilities.
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