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

flags at half staff
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

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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