Those wounded in the mass shooting at NAS Pensacola Friday, December 6, 2019 were quickly taken to Baptist Hospital, nearby. Eight people were brought in, including two Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies. One has an arm injury and the other, an injury to the knee. Law enforcement and families of the injured showed up at the hospital throughout the day.
Baptist Hospital went on a heightened level of security throughout the morning as doctors and hospital staff found themselves dealing with a mass trauma situation. Concerned family members and a variety of law enforcement officials showed up throughout the day. Others came just to offer support after hearing from friends on-base what had happened.
“So far, they are okay. Some of them are working near the scene but they’re okay because the procedure of the military base is that they have to be locked down, so they are safe and secure in the building where they are working,” said Machinist Mate, Paul Garilau.
Escambia County deputies, Pensacola Police officers and armed base personnel gathered outside the Emergency entrance out of concern for the victims and to offer security. Officials didn’t release the extent of the injuries but said the shooter used a handgun in a populated classroom building.
News of the tragedy traveled quickly and hit the community hard. Escambia County Commissioner, Lumon May visited the hospital, making sure it was known the community would be there for whatever was needed.
“We’re working with Baptist and we want to be there in a support role for our military and people that are working,” May explained. “Unfortunately, the base is still on lockdown position last I heard so we want to be right outside the gates of that base helping people, helping with communication if they need anything, if it’s as simple as providing water for those who are investigating, setting up tents to feed if necessary. Whatever the command calls upon, we’re going to do together as a community.”
Many in the community also stepped up quickly. After Baptist Health System announced a need for blood, a long line of people showed up at OneBlood to donate, an example of folks just doing what they can to help.