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Flags ordered at half-staff in honor of Lakewood High School track star killed in Pensacola shooting

Mohammed Sameh Haitham was one of three killed in the mass shooting.

Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered flags at half-staff in honor of United States Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham.

Flogs will fly at half-staff at the Pinellas County Clerk of Court in St. Pete, St. Pete City Hall and at the State Capitol in Tallahassee from sunrise to sunset on Saturday.

Haitham was one of three sailors killed in a mass shooting earlier this month at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Haitham was a St. Pete native and graduate of Lakewood High School, where he was remembered as a hard-worker who excelled on the school’s track and field team.

Haitham was assigned to Flight Crew Training at the Naval Air Station and was expected to graduate from the program two weeks after the shooting occurred.

He completed basic training for the military in September.

The FBI identified the shooter as Mohammed Alshamrani. Alshamrani was a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force and part of an 852-member group of Saudi nationals in the U.S. to receive military training under a security cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia.

A subsequent investigation later found there was no reason to believe there were ongoing threats to U.S. military bases as a result of Saudi nationals receiving military training in the U.S.

DeSantis had previously ordered flags at half-staff for all victims for several days immediately following the shooting.

“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 in a previous statement. “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.”

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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