5, Including Gunman, Dead in Shootings in Tennessee: It's 'an Act of Domestic Terrorism,' Says U.S. Attorney
Traffic was stopped on the Amnicola Highway as emergency officials rushed to the scene
Four Marines are dead and three other people are injured after shootings at two different military facilities on Thursday morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
By 1:15 p.m. the “active shooter situation” was over, according to a Tweet from the Chattanooga police. The gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, is also deceased, the FBI said in a statement. “While it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time, we will conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy and provide updates as they are available,” the FBI said.
What happened at the two facilities – a recruitment center and a Marine Reserve Center roughly seven miles apart – remains unclear, but only one shooter is believed to have been involved, authorities said.
In a statement to PEOPLE, the Marine Corps confirmed the deaths. “The Marine Corps can confirm four Marine fatalities at the Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, TN. Names of these Marines will be released upon notification of the next of kin.”
“We can also confirm one Marine Corps recruiter sustained a wound to the leg while working at the Chattanooga recruiting office, was treated at a local hospital and has been released. Our priorities are focused on supporting the families of our Marines involved and assisting local investigators.”
Authorities said in a press conference that they didn’t know much yet, but what they did know was that an individual “brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed services.”
“We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said. The FBI is now in charge of the investigation.
Officials said they believe that the suspect was from the area, but they did not elaborate.
One police officer was injured by gunfire from the suspect while pursuing him. He’s expected to make a full recovery.
President Barack Obama commented Thursday on the incident, saying, “My main message right now is deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who’ve served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion.”
“Although the families are still in the process of being contacted, I want them to know that I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences,” Obama said. “We will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened.”
Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke first hinted at an incident earlier in the day, writing on his Twitter account: “Horrific incident in our community. We will release details as they are confirmed.”
He added: “Prayers to all those affected.”
Traffic was stopped on the Amnicola Highway as emergency officials rushed to the scene. Nearby Chattanooga State Community College was placed on lockdown.
• Reporting by SUSAN KEATING
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