Gov. DeSantis backs compensation in Pensacola shooting

A vehicle drives by a tribute to victims of the Naval Air Station Pensacola that was freshly painted on whats known as Graffiti Bridge in downtown Pensacola, Fla., on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. A US official says the Saudi student who fatally shot three people at the Florida naval base had hosted a dinner party earlier in the week to watch videos of mass shootings. The official spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed by federal investigators.The official says a second Saudi student was recording outside the building at the Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday while the shooting was happening inside. The official also says 10 Saudi students are being held at the base and that several others are unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington) (Brendan Farrington)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said compensation could be coming from Saudi Arabia for families of victims of a December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

But due to diplomatic necessities, there might not be any high-profile announcement, he said.

DeSantis said Wednesday he’s talked to President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the need for compensation for families in the Dec. 6 shooting.

“Both were mindful of what I said, and I think both understood that it would be appropriate,” DeSantis said while at the University of West Florida announcing an $8 million initiative to help veterans in the transition process from active duty.

“Stay tuned on that. That’s something we’re working on,” DeSantis said of the compensation effort. “There’s diplomacy involved. There is a lot of other things involved. I think it probably needs to be handled in certain ways. We’ve been very clear as to our view on that, and I think the families of these victims deserve compensation.”

Mohammed Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, was a pilot trainee in Pensacola when authorities said he killed three U.S. Navy members and wounded eight people before being fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy.

In a news conference on the day of the shooting, DeSantis, a former Navy attorney, said the Saudi government “needs to make things better” for the victims.

“I think they are going to owe a debt here, given that this is one of their individuals,” DeSantis said on Dec. 6.