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Ron DeSantis orders flags at half-staff in honor of NAS Pensacola shooting victims

Three people died when a gunman opened fire at the Naval base.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering flags at half-staff through sunset Dec. 13 in honor of victims of Friday’s Naval Air Station base shooting in Pensacola.

The order applies to all Florida and American flags at local and state buildings, installations and grounds throughout the state.

“We are praying hard for the victims and families impacted by today’s shooting at NAS Pensacola. As a Navy veteran, today hits especially close to home. NAS Pensacola is a special place and these brave warriors who wear the wings come here for flight training to protect and serve our great nation,” DeSantis said. “My administration and state agencies have deployed and will continue to provide support personnel and services to all of the military, civilians and families impacted by today’s senseless act of violence.”

A shooter opened fire in a classroom building at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola Friday morning in an attack that left four people dead, including the assailant, and multiple people wounded. The shooting was the second at a U.S. Navy base this week after another shooter killed two and himself at Pearl Harbor over the weekend.

The shooting prompted a massive law enforcement response and a lockdown at the Pensacola base.

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“Today’s shooting not only strikes at the heart of Northwest Florida, but for the Navy nationwide and around the world. The response we saw from the deputies at Escambia County Sheriff’s office and active personnel responding to the scene is commendable and lives were saved because of the bravery of those wearing the uniform of the U.S. Navy and our local law enforcement, including from those who were wounded and still worked to help others,” DeSantis said. “Their bravery will not be in vain. We have learned that the shooter was a foreign national in the employ of a foreign service and the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for the victims and they’re going to owe a debt here.”

Eleven people were shot in total at the Pensacola are including two sheriff’s deputies who were first responders on the scene. According to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan, one of those two deputies was the one who killed the shooter. One deputy was shot in the arm, the other in the knee. Both are expected to recover.

Officials identified the shooter as a Saudi Arabian aviation student. The investigation, including into whether the shooting was terrorism-related, is ongoing.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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