Terrorism Motive Suspected in Naval Base Shooting, Second Suspect at Large

Jamie Ross

Authorities believe a shooting that injured one person at a south Texas naval base on Thursday morning was terrorism-related.

The suspect attempted to ram a security gate at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi with a vehicle at around 6:15 a.m., a U.S. defense official told CNN.

Security guards deployed a barrier to stop the vehicle but the suspect then got out and started firing, the official said.

The gunman was then “neutralized” by a security guard, the FBI said.

One member of the naval security forces was injured but was in “good condition,” the U.S. Navy said. It wasn’t immediately clear if the injured person was also the person who took the shooter down.

FBI Senior Supervisory Agent Leah Greeves said in a Thursday afternoon briefing that the agency believed the incident was motivated by terrorism, and they were looking for a second person of interest.

The base sounded the alarm with a Facebook post early Thursday, writing that an apparent shooter had been sighted near the station’s north gate. The warning instructed anyone who was close to the gate to “get out and away to safety” as the rest of the base was ordered to go into its lockdown procedure.

Shortly after the initial statement, the base confirmed in a separate Facebook post that the immediate danger appeared to be over.

The statement read: “Naval Security Forces at NAS Corpus Christi responded to an active shooter at approximately 6:15 a.m. this morning. The shooter has been neutralized. All gates on the installation remain closed while first responders process the scene. NCIS and local law enforcement are on scene.”

In a further update, the base wrote, “The active shooter is neutralized, however the scene is not clear. Remain in a lockdown status. For your safety, do not move around the base unless cleared to do so.”

It’s the second terrorism-related attack on a U.S. naval base in less than six months.

In December, a gunman killed three men and injured eight others at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. The shooter, Saudi Arabian aviation student Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was participating in a training exchange program with the U.S. Navy. He was killed at the scene.

Prior to the shooting, he’d reportedly hosted a dinner party with three other Saudi students and had watched videos of U.S. mass shootings.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the December shooting. The FBI had confirmed just three days ago that it was the first terrorist attack on American territory that had been directed by a foreign actor since 9/11.

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