Saudi Arabia ‘will be involved in taking care’ of Pensacola shooting victims’ families, Trump says

closeMark Esper discusses the challenges to US national security following Florida Navy base shootingVideo

Mark Esper discusses the challenges to US national security following Florida Navy base shooting

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper sits down exclusively with 'Fox News Sunday' anchor Chris Wallace.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia are devastated by the deadly attack at the Pensacola naval base in Florida and intend to “help out” the families of those murdered, President Trump announced Saturday.

“The king will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones,” Trump said after speaking to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman by phone. “He feels very strongly. He’s very, very devastated by what happened and what took place. Likewise the Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman).”

The suspected shooter is a Saudi Air Force aviation officer who was training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.

SAUDI STUDENT WATCHED MASS SHOOTING VIDEOS DURING DINNER PARTY BEFORE FLORIDA NAVAL BASE ATTACK: REPORT

Trump said the Saudi leaders “are devastated by what took place in Pensacola. I think they are going to help out the families very greatly.”

The announcement of potential assistance comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saudi Arabia owed a debt to the families.

“Obviously, the government … needs to make things better for these victims. I think they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals,” DeSantis said at a news conference Friday.

The attack unfolded Friday morning at the waterfront base when the shooter opened fire with a handgun in a training classroom. The attack prompted a massive law enforcement response and put the base on lockdown.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed to Fox News that three of the victims were Americans. Family members identified one of them as Joshua Watson, a 23-year-old recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who is credited with taking life-saving actions in his final moments of life after being shot five times by the Saudi national.

HERO NAVAL ACADEMY GRAD SHOT 5 TIMES AT NAVAL AIR STATION RELAYED CRUCIAL INFORMATION BEFORE SUCCUMBING TO INJURIES

Both Esper and Trump have declined to call the attack an act of terror.

“I can’t say it’s terrorism at this time,” Esper told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Saturday, saying that the FBI and investigators must do their work.

The suspected shooter, who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy, was in the United States for military training. The U.S. has a long-standing program to teach foreign nationals how to operate American-made military equipment purchased by their governments.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Trump said the U.S. would “immediately” conduct a review of the training procedures and pledged to “get to the bottom” of what happened.

He signaled that investigators are trying to determine whether the shooter acted alone or planned the attack with others.

“We are finding out what took place,” Trump said, “whether it’s one person or a number of people.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article