The suspect told detectives “that he was planning on going to Westgate to harm 10 victims with this horrendous act,” and that it was unclear why the number 10 was chosen. “He said that he went to Westgate to target victims,” the police said. “He wanted to gain some respect and he felt that he had been bullied in his life.”
The base was put on lockdown after security forces responded to reports of an active shooter around 6:15 a.m. CT, according to the Navy.
A preliminary law enforcement investigation into the shooter has identified him as a US resident who was originally born in Syria, and likely a supporter of Salafi-jihadist ideology. Officials have identified various social media accounts, which initial reports indicate are likely associated with the shooter, the source said. Online postings by these accounts expressed support for ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi has been home to Naval pilot training since 1941.
Florida: Copycat Source of 2020's Attack?
May 20, 2020's shooting took place three days after the FBI and Attorney General Barr held a news conference announcing they had found a link between al Qaeda and a Saudi military trainee who killed three US sailors and wounded several others in a terror attack in 2019 on Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The shooter in that attack had communicated with al Qaeda operatives as recently as the night prior to the shooting. His ties to the AQAP began as far back as 2015 and were "significant."
Alshamrani had made anti-American, anti-Israel and jihadi posts on social media -- including one on the September 11 anniversary -- that stated "the countdown has begun," and another two hours before the attack that referenced the words of an al Qaeda cleric. During a 15-minute shooting spree, Alshamrani shot at a photo of President Donald Trump as well as a former president. He made statements during the attack that were critical of American servicemen overseas, the FBI has said.
AQAP had claimed responsibility for the Pensacola attack and said it was in touch with Alshamrani. In February, the White House announced that Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of the group, had been killed in an airstrike in Yemen.
The timing of the Florida attack matched the pattern at the Naval base in Texas. On the morning of December 6, 2019, a terrorist attack occurred at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida. Prior to the attack, at 6:39 a.m. a message on Twitter was posted by a user using the handle @M7MD_SHAMRANI, which declared hate for Americans due to its support of Israel.
The shooting was first reported at 6:51 a.m. when the suspect, armed with a 9mm Glock handgun and several extra magazines, opened fire in one of the classroom buildings. During the incident he moved through two floors of the building, discharging his weapon on both. One of the victims was able to make his way away from the scene to alert the first response team of the location of the shooter amongst other details. The suspect was shot and killed at 7:45 a.m. after two deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office exchanged gunfire with him.
December 4, 2019: A 22-year-old active duty sailor killed two people and injured another at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu, Hawaii, according to authorities. The shooter opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M4 service rifle and then used his M9 service pistol to shoot and kill himself.
December 6, 2019: An active shooter was reported at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, on Dec. 6, 2019. Four people, including the suspected shooter, were killed. (Detailed above.)