UPDATE: The FBI have confirmed the active shooting that took place this morning near the north gate of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas was an act of terrorism, and a second suspect may still be at large.
FBI Senior Supervisory Special Agent Leah Greeves said in a press conference on May 21, 2020, “we are working diligently with our state, local and federal partners on this investigation, which is fluid and evolving.”
Greeves did not provide additional details about what led authorities to think the shooting was terrorism-related.
She confirmed that the suspect is deceased. She said there might be a second related person of interest “at large in the community” but urged the public to remain calm.
FBI officials provided an update on this morning's shooting at NAS-CC, saying that they have determined it to be a terror related shooting and that a second suspect may still be at large in the community. pic.twitter.com/eeae6l9jJM
— KIII 3 News (@kiii3news) May 21, 2020
USNI News reported that a Navy security team “killed an ‘Arab male’ who stormed a gate at the base.”
In the meantime, the Naval Air Station remains on lockdown.
NAS’ official Facebook page posted confirmation that their Naval Security Forces responded to an active shooter at 6:15 this morning.
The U.S. Navy Information Office said in a statement the shooter had been “neutralized” by 7:30 a.m. and that state and local law enforcement were investigating.
The Daily Mail reported the gunman “opened fire near a base entrance.” First responders on the scene advised those in the vicinity to remain indoors and away from windows.
The naval airbase was on lockdown this morning, but the lockdown was lifted shortly before noon, the NAS reported on Facebook.
Geoff Ziezulewicz of the Military Times reported that a Navy police officer was shot, and was protected by a bulletproof vest.
Sources saying one Navy police officer was shot by the active shooter this morning at NAS Corpus Christi, but that the officer's protective vest stopped the round.
— Geoff Ziezulewicz (@JournoGeoffZ) May 21, 2020
Fox News said the injured Navy security member would be released from the hospital later today.
UPDATE: The Navy security force member injured in shooting at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas in “good condition" and will be released from the hospital later today, Navy official says.
It's not immediately clear how the U.S. Navy sailor was injured.
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) May 21, 2020
Paul McCleary, a journalist at Breaking Defense, said on Twitter one Navy Security Force member was injured, and all gates on the installation remained closed while first responders processed the scene.
Shooting at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi this morning leaves one injured: pic.twitter.com/v0n07ztfMS
— paul mcleary (@paulmcleary) May 21, 2020
Corpus Christi Police confirmed the incident on their Facebook page.
Texas A&M University issued a “code blue” and a warning to avoid campus and the surrounding areas.
The New York Times reported that the Corpus Christi station had a similar lockdown in December 2019 when an armed employee made “verbal threats” just a week after shootings at Navy facilities in Pensacola, Florida, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In October 2019, a man in possession of a stolen firearm rammed his truck into a barricade at the Corpus Christi base. According to NBC News, the man was taken into custody following a police chase in which a stolen white Dodge Ram crashed through the base’s north gate. The stolen vehicle contained a gun and ammunition. The driver fled on foot after crashing and was apprehended by officials.
In February 2019, a 37-year-old man was shot and killed near the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station’s south gate by military police after driving a stolen car through an unsecured area near the security gate.
A Radicalized Gunman With Links to Al-Qaida Killed Three People at an Air Station Last Year
In December 2019, Mohammed Alshamrani, a gunman with links to al-Qaida, killed three people and wounded eight at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida.
Alshamrani, a Saudi national who served in the Saudi Air Force, opened fire in a classroom building, killing U.S. service members Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson and Airman Cameron Scott Walters.
The FBI found that Alshamrani had been radicalized as early as 2015. FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed in a press conference held on May 20 that the U.S. government had found links between Alshamrani “(and) a number of dangerous AQAP (al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) operatives.”
Wray said in the virtual FBI press conference that Alshamrani had been “meticulous in his planning. He made pocket-cam videos as he cased his classroom building. He wrote a final will, purporting to explain himself, and saved it in his phone.
“In the months before the attack, while he was here among us, he talked with AQAP about his plans and tactics—taking advantage of the information he acquired here, to assess how many people he could try to kill.”
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