Former track star killed in Pensacola naval base shooting

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One of the people shot and killed in Friday morning’s Naval Air Station Pensacola was a former Lakewood High School track and field star.

News Channel 8’s Marco Villarreal learned that 19-year-old Mohammed Hathaim, known as Mo, is originally from St. Petersburg and graduated in 2018. Shortly after, he joined the US Navy.

Haitham went through boot camp and recently was assigned to flight crew training in Pensacola.

According to Haitham’s mother, he told her he was enjoying his service to his country and while his training was hard, he was committed to excelling.

The former track star was one of three killed in the shooting, eight others were injured.

“Mo actually tried to stop the shooter,” Haitham’s cousin, Ashley Williams, said. “So by him trying to stop the shooter, he not only jeopardized his own life but he also tried to save — he actually saved others.”

The former track star was known as a boy who loved his mother, most recently surprising her and his two brothers by arriving on Thanksgiving Day from Pensacola.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted that he hopes Haitham’s family finds “peace in knowing that Mo made our community and world better.”

Pinellas County School’s released a statement Saturday night on the loss of Haitham.

“The Pinellas County Schools family is greatly saddened by the death of Mohammed Haitham, a 2018 graduate of Lakewood High School. Mohammed was one of the victims in Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Base in Pensacola.

Principal Erin Savage says he was a joy to have as a student. While the loss of any student is deeply felt, the circumstances surrounding Mohammed Haitham’s death are upsetting.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, classmates and the men and women of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.”

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