Shooting took place on base early Friday morning, sparking a lockdown
Sources identified the suspected gunman as Saudi Air Force aviation student Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani
As of Friday evening, six Saudi nationals have been detained for questioning
It's reported that three of them filmed the shooting as it happened
Rep Matt Gaetz, a Republican representing Pensacola, called the shooting 'an act of terrorism'
President Trump tweeted that King Salman told him 'the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter...'
Three other people were shot and killed during incident inside classroom building on base
The Air Force trainee who killed three and injured eight when he opened fire at a naval base in Florida assailed the United States as 'a nation of evil' before he went on his shooting rampage, AFP reports.
The man, first identified by NBC News as Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, opened fire inside a classroom at Naval Air Station in Pensacola early Friday morning. Police quickly responded to the scene and he was shot dead.
US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the suspect was a second lieutenant attending the aviation school at the base.
Meanwhile six other Saudi nationals were arrested near the base shortly after the attack, as investigators began to probe a terror link.
Three of the six were seen filming the entire incident as it unfolded, a source told The New York Times on Friday evening.
No officials have yet stated whether any of them were students inside the classroom where the shooting occurred.
Military from around the globe attend the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for flight training.
President Donald Trump this afternoon tweeted that he spoke on the phone with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who he said expressed 'sincere condolences' to those impacted by the shooting.
Trump added that King Salman informed him the Saudi people love Americans and 'are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter...'
Shortly before 8pm Eastern Time, Saudi officials condemned the shooting and claimed they are willing to cooperate with the investigation.
The shooter opened fire in a classroom building shortly before 7am Friday. The attack left four people dead, including the assailant, and eight others wounded.
During an afternoon press briefing, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed the shooter was from Saudi Arabia, which has long relied on the US to train it military officers.
'There's obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi air force and then to be here training on our soil,' DeSantis told reporters.
'Obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims. And I think they are going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals.'
Of the 19 men involved in the September 11 attacks, 15 were Saudi and some of them attended flight school in Florida.
In recent weeks, 18 naval aviators and two aircrew members from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces were training with the US Navy, including at Pensacola, according to a November 15 press release from the Navy. It was not clear if the suspected shooter was part of that delegation.
The delegation came under a Navy program that offers training to US allies, known as the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity.
A person familiar with the program said that Saudi Air Force officers selected for military training in the United States are intensely vetted by both countries.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist media, identified the gunman as Mohammed al-Shamrani, saying he had posted a short manifesto on Twitter that read: “I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.”
“I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because your freedoms, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity,” he wrote.