Dec 6, 2019

Mass shootings as international incidents

Pensacola Naval Air Station

Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's government is in damage control mode after one of its citizens killed three Americans on Friday at a U.S. naval air station in Pensacola, Florida.

The state of play: King Salman called President Trump to "express his sorrow and grief," the Saudi embassy said in a statement on Friday. President Trump said in a tweet that Salman told him the shooter "in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people."

  • The Saudis also pledged their security services to help with the investigation.

The big picture: The Saudis are U.S. allies, but it's been a troubled relationship. Americans will remember the number of Saudi nationals who were involved in planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks.

  • Plus, it's been only about a year since Saudi agents killed American resident Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Friday's suspect has been identified as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, who reportedly used a handgun, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • Local law enforcement said Alshamrani was killed by a police officer.
  • He wounded eight other people in the attack, law enforcement said.

At least one House Republican wants this treated as terrorism.

  • “We can safely call this an act of terrorism, not an act of workplace violence," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents the district that is home to the station.

And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested the Saudis will owe compensation.

  • “The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims, and I think they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this is one of their individuals."

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