Christian sailor who died saving others in Pensacola mass shooting only recently rekindled faith | 12/9/2019 | Staff
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One of the three heroic sailors who died protecting others during a mass shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning had only recently rekindled his faith.

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Anthony Snead, who coached Airman Mohammad Sameh Haitham, a 19-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida, in track and cross-country at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, told The Washington Post how Haitham, who graduated in 2018, recently rekindled his Christian faith and had been attending church with a classmate.

He explained how proud he was of Haitham who once told him that he was unsure what he wanted to do with his life, but he wanted it to be positive.

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“He didn’t want to be somebody who was going to coast,” Snead said. “He wanted to be someone who was going to be a positive influence. And he worked like it.”

Haitham was the youngest of the three sailors who were fatally shot by a 21-year-old gunman, identified as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The navy identified the other fatalities as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, of Coffee, Alabama, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Georgia.

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“The sorrow from the tragic event on NAS Pensacola will have a lasting impact on our installation and community,” Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer at NAS Pensacola said in a statement Saturday. “We feel the loss profoundly and grieve with the family and friends of the deceased. The Sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty and 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. If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could...
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