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Shooting At Naval Air Station Pensacola


Officials are investigating a deadly shooting on a U.S. military base. Early this morning, authorities responded to a shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Four people were killed, including, we've learned, the shooter. NPR's Debbie Elliott is just outside the base. Hi, Debbie.


KING: What do we know about what happened today?

ELLIOTT: Well, authorities say they got a call about 6:50 a.m., Central Time. Escambia County sheriff's deputies responded to the active shooter on base and that they, quote, "neutralized the threat." In all, four people were killed, including the shooter. Another seven are wounded, including two deputies who were shot. But officials say they are expected to recover. They say notifications of family are now underway. They say there's no longer a threat on base and that it is now basically a crime scene investigation.

KING: Debbie, do we know anything about who the shooter is?

ELLIOTT: No, details are not forthcoming. Navy Captain Timothy Kinsella, the commanding officer of the base, when asked about that today, refused to give details or say whether the shooter had business on base or is in the Navy or Marines or what kind of weapon was used. All we know is that it happened in a classroom on base. There's no information on motive. And there - officials, again, refused to speculate on whether they considered this to be an act of terrorism.

Now, just to tell you a little bit about Naval Air Station Pensacola - it is a huge training base. All Navy and Marine aviators come through here to train. It's home to the Blue Angels, the - you know, the aerobatic flight group...

KING: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: ...That's very popular around the country. It's a huge base - 16,000 military, 7,400 civilians here on base.

KING: So what is happening there now? You're just outside the base. What are you seeing?

ELLIOTT: Well, the base is on lockdown. You can actually hear, echoing off of the base, loudspeakers telling people to shelter in place.

KING: Wow.

ELLIOTT: So it's still very much closed down. Here, outside the gate of the base, there are family members who have gathered, waiting for their loved ones to be able to leave, or some people actually waiting to get back on base where they live. There is one woman whose little baby daughter is still on base, and she's trying to get reunited back with her. So some family separation underway.

Officials say they're going to very orderly allow people to start leaving the base today once the crime scene is secure. You're seeing a whole lot of emergency vehicles going back and forth. And it's obviously been a very harrowing morning for the people here trying to be connected with the people that they know who still are on base.

KING: I'm sure. And Debbie, this is the second shooting at a military installation in the past week, isn't it?

ELLIOTT: Right. And it has a lot of people here asking questions and being very upset about that. The second active shooter situation, coming just days after a Navy sailor killed two civilians at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

KING: NPR's Debbie Elliott in Pensacola, Fla. Debbie, thank you so much.

ELLIOTT: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South. She covers the latest news and politics, and is attuned to the region's rich culture and history.
Noel King is a host of Morning Edition and Up First.