Group: Texas naval base shooter voiced support for clerics

Full Screen
1 / 5

The entrances to the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi are closed following an active shooter threat, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi says the shooter was "neutralized" and the facility is on lockdown. (Annie Rice/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)

The suspect killed during what the FBI is calling a “terrorism-related” attack at a Texas naval air base voiced support for hardline clerics, according to a group that monitors online activity of jihadists.

The attack Thursday at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead. The gunman was identified on Friday by the FBI as 20-year-old Adam Salim Alsahli of Corpus Christi. He had been a business major at a local community college.

The gunman tried to speed through a security gate at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, opening fire and wounding the sailor, a member of base security, U.S. officials told the AP. But she was able to roll over and hit a switch that raised a barrier, preventing the man from getting onto the base, the officials said.

Other security personnel shot and killed the attacker.

There was an initial concern that the gunman may have had an explosive device, but Navy experts swept the area and the car and found nothing. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details about an ongoing investigation. Officials worked late Thursday to process the crime scene and had recovered some type of electronic media.

The FBI is examining social media posts investigators believe were made by the shooter expressing support for extremist groups, including Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, two officials familiar with the investigation said. The officials could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday on on “The Today Show" that the wounded sailor is “doing well.” He also said the FBI knows the basics of what happened during the attack but is working through details, including about the suspect.

“We hope to know more in the coming days as to what happened, what this person was motivated by,” Esper said. "But we need to let the facts come out, let the investigators do their job, and we’ll see where this ends up.”