3 killed in shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station

Sheriff says gunman killed by deputy at the base
Locator map of Navel air station in Pensacola, Florida.
Locator map of Navel air station in Pensacola, Florida.

Three people were shot dead by a gunman who opened fire early Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, authorities said.

Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County said one of his deputies killed the gunman at the base, which employs more than 16,000 military personnel and 7,400 civilians. Two deputies were shot but are expected to recover, the sheriff said.

Capt. Timothy F. Kinsella Jr., the base’s commanding officer, declined to identify the gunman or say whether he was a serviceman. The shooting took place in a classroom building on the base, where training is routinely conducted, he said.

Kathy Bowers, a spokeswoman for Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, said that the hospital had received eight patients. One of the victims transported to Baptist later died, according to Chief Deputy Chip Simmons of Escambia County. Two other victims died on the base, he said.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

Officials began receiving calls about the shooting about 6:50 a.m., and the base was put on lockdown.

Morgan said authorities were not looking for any additional gunmen.

President Donald Trump has been briefed about the shooting and was monitoring the situation, the White House said. Vice President Mike Pence said in a message on Twitter that he was “saddened” to hear about the “horrible” shooting.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said Friday morning that he was receiving updates about the shooting at the base and was offering full support to law enforcement.

The base “is a huge source of pride for all of Northwest Florida,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, whose congressional district includes Pensacola.

“I know there are places all over the country where, at times, there is tension between a military mission and a community, but in our home, this is who we are,” he said. “This is what we love, and it’s why our hearts break today.”

The base at Pensacola, on Florida’s Panhandle, dates to the 1820s and is considered by the service to be the home of naval aviation. Since World War I, most Navy and Marine Corps aviators and flight officers have begun their flight training there, and it is where the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based.

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