At a news conference Sunday, the FBI said it is presuming the attack was an act of terrorism, adding that presumption allows it to more quickly identify and eliminate any other potential threats to the community, though no credible threats have been found.
“Our main goal right now is to confirm whether he acted alone or was he a part of a larger network,” said Rachel Rojas, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville, Florida, field office. “We currently assess there was one gunman who perpetrated this attack, and no arrests have been made in this case.”
Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola, issued a statement, saying the U.S. sailors who were killed “showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil.
“When confronted, they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives,” he said. “If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been far worse.”
Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter said his city, which is about 20 miles southwest of Savannah, is preparing to “mourn a lost sailor, a member of our community.”
“The City of Richmond Hill feels the loss profoundly of these three sailors and grieves with the family and friends of the deceased,” the city said in a statement on its Facebook page. “We ask our community to come together for Cameron’s family, to mourn and remember him, and to pay tribute to his sacrifice. We will forever be grateful for his courage and heroism.”
Mason said he stayed in touch with his older brother through FaceTime while Cameron was away serving in the military.
“He had so many great stories to tell,” Mason said. “Whenever he was FaceTiming me from inside of his room with all of his buddies he was having so much fun … and they were all such good friends. And they all seemed so close with each other.”
Mason added: “He served this country honorably and he deserves all of the respect that he can get.”