Recent Shootings Across the United States

Kerry Matthews, Staff writer

On Dec.1 in New Orleans, two separate shootings occurred that left two dead and twelve injured. In the crowded, popular area of the French Quarter, an altercation between two men apparently escalated to a violent shooting that left 10 injured.  

Despite being in such a popular area, the shooter was not apprehended, and police have offered a reward of $10,000 for information. The motive behind the shooting is unknown at the moment. The severity of the shooting has led the FBI to become involved with the investigation. 

Only days after the shootings in New Orleans, one occurred in Pearl Harbor. Two people were killed–both of whom worked for the Department of Defense–and one was injured. 

The shooting itself was committed by a U.S. sailor, Gabriel Antonio Romero, who killed himself after shooting the victims. He was on active duty on the USS Columbia which was supposed to be stationed only for maintenance work. 

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is in charge of investigating the incident. No confirmed motive has been discovered, but investigators do not believe it was an act of terrorism. Romero committed the shooting only days before the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Dec. 7, but there has been no apparent connection made to the date. The ceremony done at Pearl Harbor every year is still set to take place on the 7th. 

Another shooting took place on a naval base in Pensacola, Florida. However, unlike in Pearl Harbor or New Orleans, investigators believe Pensacola was an act of terrorism. 

A Saudi Arabian aviation student killed three and wounded on a naval base. He himself was a member of the Saudi Air Force. 

To fully understand the background and motivation of the shooter, American investigators demanded the cooperation of Saudi Arabia in the investigation. The police believe there is no ongoing threat to other Florida residents at the time, but they are exploring whether the shooter was part of a larger network. They are sure the shooter, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani, acted alone, and he was shot and killed by an officer.

Shamrani himself showed signs that the specific reasons behind the act were a hatred of American foreign policy and disdain for the size and power of the American military. His suspected activity on social media shows anti-American messages that attack American policy towards Israel. 

Despite these findings, investigators are keeping options open on any ideologies or factors that motivated Shamrani and assert that they are only deeming it terrorism to open more doors for their investigation and accessible resources. 

Paranoia over terrorism in America and an already contentious relationship with Saudia Arabia have led to baseless claims by some politicians about collaborators. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it was more than a one-man job. Fellow students of Shamrani and Saudia Arabia itself are cooperating in the investigation, but concerns have arisen that this event will strain the already fragile relationship with Saudi Arabia.