Evil and Heroism Emerge From Pensacola Shooting

Evil and Heroism Emerge From Pensacola Shooting

Evil and Heroism Emerge From Pensacola Shooting

As facts emerge from Friday’s shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, we’re learning more about the gunman’s evil intent. On the evening before the event, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani hosted a dinner party, but he wasn’t celebrating any holidays. He was, in fact, showing videos of mass shootings to three of his fellow countrymen. Moreover, Alshamrani also traveled recently with these three to New York City, and investigators are trying to determine if the trip was for tourism, or to meet with more nefarious persons.

Alshamrani, who arrived in the United States in 2017, began taking English and aviation lessons at Lackland Air Force base in Texas.  He would also travel home to Saudi Arabia during school breaks. Nothing unusual about that — students do so regularly. However, when he returned from Saudi in February, friends and associates noticed that he had become more religious. In addition, no one knows for sure what his activities were between February and last week, when he signed into his new unit in Pensacola.


Blue Angels from Pensacola Naval Air Station. US Department of Defense@flickr/public domain.

Equally ominous, an intelligence group which monitors jihadi activity found a Twitter account which carried the gunman’s name. They also found this tweet, made twelve minutes before the shooting:

“I’m not against you for just being American. I don’t hate you because your freedoms, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity.”

Another purported tweet from Alshamrani read:

“America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.”

CNN pointed out that those were the exact words of American terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki when he called for jihad against the US in 2010.

As of this writing, law enforcement officials have not confirmed the account’s connection to Alshamrani. But investigators have now detained ten Saudi military students for questioning, including the three partygoers. Plus, the FBI is now looking for others who have gone missing since the attacks.

There are other questions about the shooting in Pensacola. What about the Saudi students who allegedly watched and videoed the attack from a nearby car? And what about the handgun Alshamrani used? Non-citizens are not permitted to purchase guns unless they have obtained a hunting license, which Alshamrani reportedly had. But during the shooting he used a Glock 45 9-mm handgun with an extended magazine, and he also had several other magazines in his possession.

Meanwhile, investigators say they are still trying to determine a motive. Even Defense Secretary Mark Esper is waffling, telling a forum on Saturday “I can’t say it’s terrorism at this time.”

I normally would warn against jumping to conclusions, but I don’t think this guy went on a rampage because of work conditions.

But enough of the evil. Let’s find out about two of the three victims who performed as heroes.

First of all, there was Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, who died at the hands of Alshamrani. Watson was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, an accomplished young man — the captain of Navy’s rifle team, who told friends that serving his country was his dream.

According to his family, Watson saved the lives of others at the shooting rampage last week by giving first responders information about the shooter before succumbing to his wounds. As his brother wrote at Facebook:

“My youngest brother gave his life for his country in a senseless shooting. Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own. After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable.”

Here’s more about this remarkable young man:

A second hero has emerged from the evil carnage: a young man who also carried the name of Mohammed. Airman Mohammed Haitham was only 19 years old, a high school track star from Lakeland, FL. Right after he graduated high school in 2018, Haitham enlisted in the Navy. After completing boot camp, he was reassigned to Pensacola for flight crew training. Paying a surprise visit to his mother at Thanksgiving, Haitham told her how he loved the Navy, and how excited he was to be graduating from training on December 19.

But Mohammed Alshamrani stopped those plans when he opened fire last Friday. Haitham’s mother, Evelyn Brady, who is a Navy veteran herself and now works for the Veterans Administration, reported that the commander of Haitham’s school told her that he tried to stop the shooter.

evilMohammed Haitham. US Navy file photo/public domain.

The nation has lost two remarkable young men. In the words of the traditional Navy saying: “Fair winds and following seas, shipmates. We have the watch.”


Featured image: skeeze@pixabay/cropped/modified/pixabay license.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • GWB says:

    he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was
    Just like training says. Bravo Zulu, sir.

    he tried to stop the shooter
    BZ, sailor.

    RIP, gentlemen. You have done your duty, and more. God rest you well.

  • GWB says:

    Have you heard anything about the third “victim”? Instapundit has a bit on him.
    He was fresh from boot and was standing his very first watch.
    BZ Seaman Cameron Walters.

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