PENTAGON ORDERS REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VETTING
The Pentagon is ordering a broad review of vetting procedures for international students who participate in training on military installations. The review is a direct reaction to last week’s deadly shooting at a Pensacola Navy base by a Saudi aviation student. The memo was signed by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist and says screening must be strengthened and the review must be completed in 10 days.
NAVY: FLIGHT TRAINING SUSPENDED FOR SAUDI STUDENTS
The U.S. Navy says flight training has been suspended for more than 300 Saudi Arabian students at three bases in Florida in the wake of the deadly shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer on Friday. Those three bases are Naval Air Stations Pensacola, Whiting Field and Mayport. Navy Commander Clay Doss says classroom training is starting this week, and flight training for other students will resume. He says it’s not clear how long the flight stand-down for the Saudi students will continue. About 140 Saudi Arabian students are currently at Pensacola; the base is now training 272 students from international militaries in total.
SHOOTER BOUGHT GUN THROUGH HUNTING LOOPHOLE
Federal authorities say the gun used in Friday’s shooting that killed three sailors and injured eight other people at NAS Pensacola was legally purchased in July from a licensed gun dealer. A spokeswoman for the FBI says the 9mm Glock pistol was legally purchased by the shooter, Mohammed Alshamrani. The 21-year-old Saudi aviation student was killed after opening fire at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The FBI says Alshamrani qualified for an exception to laws prohibiting foreign nationals from having a gun because he had a valid Florida hunting license. Authorities say he may have also qualified under other exceptions.
NAVY POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDS WINGS OF GOLD TO NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING VICTIMS
Today, the Navy has posthumously awarded Wings of Gold to all three Sailors killed during the Dec. 6 shooting at Naval Aviation Schools Command aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly proclaimed Ensign Joshua Watson as a naval aviator, and Airman Mohammed Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters as naval aircrewmen. Rear Admiral Daniel Dwyer oversees all undergraduate Naval Aviation training says the selfless acts of heroism displayed by the young Sailors are nothing short of incredible.
Escambia County deputies are looking into an overnight home invasion. Major Andrew Hobbs says it happened just after midnight near Massachusetts Avenue and Norris Street when three black males forced entry into the house, looked around for a couple minutes and left. A victim was reportedly injured by broken glass. No arrests have been made.
A former state lawmaker, Santa Rosa County sheriff and county commissioner, has died at the age of 87. State Senator Doug Broxson confirms that his older brother, John, died at noon Monday. While in the Florida House, Broxson partnered with then-state Sen. Reubin Askew and pushed through the appropriations bill that ultimately led to the founding of the University of West Florida. Senator Broxson tells the PNJ his brother had been struggling with health issues for the last few years.