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US 'He just shot through the door': Injured airman describes Pensacola Navy base shooting

03:50  08 december  2019
03:50  08 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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' He just shot through the door ': Injured airman describes Pensacola Navy base shooting . Blackwell, a Navy airman and assistant high school wrestling coach, was shot in his right arm and in his pelvis. His intestines were severed by ricocheting bullets, he said.

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Hearing gunshots down the hall, Ryan Blackwell and two of his colleagues took cover in their office.

The gunman approached the door. He did not open it. He opened fire, shooting out the glass and spraying bullets inside.

It lasted 15 seconds. Maybe 20. Then the gunman moved on, Blackwell, 27, recalled Saturday from the Baptist Hospital intensive care unit in Pensacola.

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The gunman shot through the door . Mr. Blackwell said he had shielded a woman with his body. All three airmen in the office were shot , he said, with Mr. Blackwell wounded in his right arm and pelvis. One of the two injured deputies from the sheriff’s office was released from the hospital on Saturday.

Four people, including the gunman, killed in shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, the US Navy says.

Blackwell was one of the eight people wounded at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, where a Saudi man opened fire at about 6:30 a.m. Friday. Three others were killed, as was the gunman.

Blackwell, a Navy airman and assistant high school wrestling coach, was shot in his right arm and in his pelvis. His intestines were severed by ricocheting bullets, he said.

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Blackwell works at the international military training office on the first floor, where he processes paperwork for international students. When they first heard shots being fired in the hallway, they closed the door to their office and took cover, hoping the gunman would pass them by. He didn’t.

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“He didn’t come inside,” Blackwell said. “He just shot through the door.”

Blackwell said he shielded a female colleague with his body. All three of the office workers were shot.

When the gunman moved on, Blackwell said he realized they needed to escape before the shooter came back.

“My adrenaline was pumping so much,” he recalled. “I wasn’t worried about being shot. I was worried about getting us to safety and getting us out of there.”

With his right arm shot and bloodied, Blackwell used his left arm to open an office window. He and his co-workers jumped out of the building and ran to safety.

Blackwell said he used his belt as a tourniquet on his arm to stop the bleeding. He then called another co-worker who hadn’t made it to work yet.

“I told him we needed to go to the hospital because we were bleeding out,” Blackwell said.

The co-worker arrived in a truck and drove his three injured colleagues to the main gate. They got into a police car, which took them to the hospital, Blackwell said.

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Two sheriff's deputies were injured , one shot in the arm, the other in the knee, but both were expected to survive, officials said at the news conference. The Pensacola base , near Florida's border with Alabama, is a major training site for the Navy and home to its aerobatic flight demonstration squadron

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“We could have been three more casualties if we didn’t escape,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell, a former state wrestling champion from Cape Carteret, North Carolina, is an assistant wrestling coach at nearby Gulf Breeze High School. He was planning to leave early Friday to get to a two-day tournament that started Friday.

“Once I got to the hospital I called the wrestling coach and said ‘I won’t be able to make it to the tournament this weekend. I got shot,’” Blackwell recalled.

“I told the coach to tell the guys good luck.”

Blackwell said he expects to fully recover from his injuries: “l’ll be fine.”

Follow Ryan Mills on Twitter: @ndn_rmills

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: 'He just shot through the door': Injured airman describes Pensacola Navy base shooting

Flags lowered in Georgia for funeral of Navy shooting victim .
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Flags were lowered across Georgia on Monday to coincide with the funeral of one of three Navy sailors slain by a gunman at a base in Florida. The funeral service for Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill was scheduled for Monday afternoon at a church in neighboring Savannah. Walters and two fellow sailors were killed Dec. 6 at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida when a gunman opened fire at a classroom building.Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Monday outside state buildings in honor of Walters.

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