The families also accused the Trump administration and Saudi government of reneging on pledges of support for families.
The shooting was an act of terrorism, former U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced in January 2020. Barr said al-Shamrani was driven by “jihadist ideology.”
“In the eyes of the American people, there is no greater betrayal than the realization that a purported ally is, in fact, an enemy, " the lawsuit asserts. It seeks damages for an attack the families say was caused by Saudi Arabia and its willful or grossly negligent acts in sending a terrorist operative “Trojan horse” into a U.S. program to train pilots flying billions of dollars of U.S.-sold warplanes.
U.S. servicemembers acted courageously during the attack, according to Barr. Two Marines, armed with only a fire extinguisher they had pulled off the wall, ran into the building to confront al-Shamrani after hearing gunfire. They helped save lives by performing CPR on victims. Navy Airman Ryan Blackwell was shot five times but still managed to jump atop a fellow sailor, protect her from being wounded and then help others escape.
A semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine and about 180 rounds of ammunition were found at the scene, said FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich. Al-Shamrani legally purchased the weapon in Florida last year under a hunting license exception, Bowdich said.
Barr also disclosed that 21 Saudis have been “disenrolled” from military training in the United States following the federal investigation. The Justice Department, Barr said, learned 17 of them had “social media containing some jihadi or anti-American content.” And 15 had “some kind of contact with child pornography.”