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Navy: Saudi Flight Trainees Are Grounded In Aftermath Of Pensacola Shooting

Officials announced they would suspend training for Saudi Arabian military pilots after the fatal shootings last week at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
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Officials announced they would suspend training for Saudi Arabian military pilots after the fatal shootings last week at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

The U.S. Navy has indefinitely suspended flight training for more than 300 Saudi Arabian students at three Florida bases in the aftermath of the deadly shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer at the Pensacola Naval Air Station last week.

Classroom training will resume this week and flight training for other international students will start again, according to Navy officials who call the restriction a "safety stand-down."

The move affects 140 Saudi trainees at Pensacola Naval Air Station, 35 at nearby Whiting Field, and 128 at Naval Air Station Mayport.

The Saudi shooter, 21-year old Mohammed Alshamrani, killed three young Navy sailors and injured eight other people after opening fire with a legally purchased handgun in a classroom building last Friday. The shooter was killed by a sheriff's deputy responding to the shooting.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.