PENSACOLA, Florida – Three US Navy sailors hailed as heroes.
Officials say they sacrificed their lives and saved others when a shooting erupted last week at a Florida naval base.
Now, authorities are trying to figure out what led a Saudi Air Force officer to open fire.
A dignified transfer to Dover Air Force base Sunday for the three navy sailors, who officials say, “didn’t run from danger” when a gunman opened fire at naval air station Pensacola.
Airman Mohammed Haitham, Ensign Joshua Watson and Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters died Friday when they ran toward the shooter.
“On behalf of the entire Navy I extend my sincere and deepest sympathies to the families of the sailors whose lives were taken during this heinous act,” said Rear Adm. Gary Mayes, US Navy.
No word yet on a motive, but authorities say they’re working with the presumption that this was an act of terror.
“This allows us to take advantage of investigative techniques that can help us more quickly identify and then eliminate any additional potential threats to the rest of our community," said Rachel Rojas, FBI special agent in charge of the Jacksonville division
The gunman was identified as Mohammed Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force officer.
The 21-year-old was killed after exchanging gunfire with two deputies.
“You know, you have foreign military personnel coming to our base, they should not be doing that if they hate our country," said Gov. Ron Desantis.
All witnesses, including some Saudi nationals, are being questioned, a US official told CNN.
“We are working with every single international and domestic partner to ensure that we vet every single lead as necessary," said Rojas.
The Pensacola attack was the second fatal shooting at a military base last week.
Two civilian workers at the pearl harbor naval shipyard were killed Wednesday after a US sailor opened fire. No motive is known.