The main gate at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, US, 2016Picture copyright
Reuters

A number of Saudi college students at a US Navy base in Pensacola, Florida, have been held for questioning after Friday’s capturing there, officers say.

The gunman – Saudi nationwide Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani who was a trainee on the web site – killed three individuals in a classroom earlier than being shot lifeless.

Authorities haven’t stated the opposite college students had been concerned.

A Twitter person showing to match Alshamrani’s id had made a sequence of anti-US posts, US media say.

However US Defence Secretary Mark Esper stated on Saturday that he wouldn’t label the incident as “terrorism” at this level.

Talking on the Reagan Nationwide Protection Discussion board in California, he stated investigators have to be allowed to do their work first.

The Florida assault was the second capturing to happen at a US army base final week. Two days earlier, a US sailor shot lifeless two employees on the Pearl Harbor army base in Hawaii.

What occurred on Friday?

Authorities had been alerted to the capturing on the Pensacola base at 06:51 (12:51 GMT).

It occurred throughout two flooring of a classroom constructing and ended when a sheriff’s deputy killed Alshamrani.

Eight individuals had been additionally injured within the capturing, together with two officers, who’re anticipated to get better.

The names of the victims haven’t been formally launched, however members of the family of considered one of them have spoken publicly.

They are saying Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was shot a number of occasions however made it out of the constructing to alert first responders.

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On Fb, his brother Adam Watson wrote: “He died a hero and we’re past proud however there’s a gap in our hearts that may by no means be crammed.”

Why had been Saudis on the US base?

The Pensacola base has lengthy provided aviation coaching to international army.

Cpt Timothy F Kinsella Jnr, the bottom’s commanding officer, stated that about 200 worldwide college students had been enrolled in programmes there.

In response to its web site, the bottom employs greater than 16,000 army and seven,400 civilian personnel.

Alshamrani was a second lieutenant within the Saudi Air Power, US officers say.

Saudi Arabia is a key US ally within the Center East and President Donald Trump stated that the Saudi king referred to as him after the assault to “specific his honest condolences and provides his sympathies to the households and buddies of the soldiers who had been killed”.

Mr Trump stated King Salman informed him that “this individual under no circumstances form or type represents the emotions of the Saudi individuals who love the American individuals”.

In an announcement, the Saudi international ministry referred to as the assault “horrific” and stated it might present “full help” to the investigation.

Nevertheless, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated Saudi Arabia owed “a debt right here, provided that this was considered one of their people”.

He added: “There’s clearly going to be a number of questions on this particular person being a international nationwide, being part of the Saudi air power after which to be right here coaching on our soil.”

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Media captionFlorida governor: ‘The Saudi authorities will owe a debt right here’