An airman from St. Petersburg was among three flight school students killed in Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.
Mohammed Shahed Haitham, 19, was a student at Naval Aviation Schools Command, according to a U.S. Navy news release on Saturday.
According to his Facebook page, Haitham graduated from Lakewood High School and participated on the school’s track team.
Haitham and the other two others killed -- Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, of Coffee, Ala.; and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Ga. – were killed while attempting to save their fellow sailors, according to the release.
“The sorrow from the tragic event on NAS Pensacola will have a lasting impact on our installation and community,” said Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer at at the air station. “We feel the loss profoundly and grieve with the family and friends of the deceased.
“The sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty and showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil. When confronted, they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives. If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been far worse.”
The Associated Press reports the gunman, identified as Mohammed Alshamrani, was a student at the naval base from Saudi Arabia. He was killed by a sheriff’s deputy after the shooting, NPR reports, and eight others were injured.
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told AP the shooting looks like “terrorism or akin to terrorism,” adding the FBI continues to investigate.
This is a developing story. Stay with WUSF for updates.
Information from the Associated Press and NPR was used in this report.