Four Marines killed in Ten­nessee at­tacks

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

A gun­man un­leashed a bar­rage of gun­fire at two mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties a few miles apart in Chat­tanooga on Thurs­day, killing at least four Marines, of­fi­cials said. The gun­man was also killed.

U.S. At­tor­ney Bill Kil­lian said of­fi­cials were treat­ing the at­tacks as an act of “do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism,” though FBI agent Ed Rein­hold said author­i­ties were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing a mo­tive.

A U.S. of­fi­cial speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity iden­ti­fied the gun­man as 24-year-old Muham­mad Youssef Ab­du­lazeez of Hix­ton, Tenn.

The of­fi­cial said Ab­du­lazeez is be­lieved to have been born in Kuwait, although it was un­clear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen.

“Lives have been lost from some faith­ful peo­ple who have been serv­ing our coun­try, and I think I join all Ten­nesseans in be­ing both sick­ened and sad­dened by this,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.

The at­tacks took places min­utes apart, with the gun­man stop­ping his car and open­ing fire first at a mil­i­tary re­cruit­ing cen­tre for all five branches of the mil­i­tary, then ap­par­ently driv­ing to a Navy-Marine train­ing cen­tre seven miles away.

The at­tacks were over within a half-hour.

The Marine Corps said four Marines were killed, and a fifth Marine was wounded in the leg, treated at a hos­pi­tal and re­leased.

Also, a po­lice of­fi­cer was shot in the an­kle, Mayor Andy Berke said.

Author­i­ties gave no de­tails on how the gun­man was killed.

The shoot­ings be­gan at the re­cruit­ing cen­tre on Old Lee High­way, where a shot rang out around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., fol- lowed a few sec­onds later by more fire, said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, the leader for Army re­cruit­ing at the cen­tre.

He and his com­rades got on the ground and bar­ri­caded them­selves in a safe place. Dodge es­ti­mated there were 30 to 50 shots fired.

Doors and glass were dam­aged at the neigh­bour­ing Air Force, Navy and Marine of­fices, he said.

Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials told re­cruiters that the gun­man was in a car, stopped in front of the fa­cil­ity, shot at the build­ing and drove off, said Brian Le­p­ley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Re­cruit­ing Com­mand in Fort Knox, Ken­tucky.

The re­cruit­ing cen­tre sits in a short strip be­tween a cell­phone busi­ness and an Ital­ian restau- rant with no ap­par­ent ad­di­tional se­cu­rity.

Within min­utes of that at­tack, the gun­man opened fire at the Navy Op­er­a­tional Sup­port Cen­ter and Marine Corps Re­serve Cen­ter Chat­tanooga.

All of the dead were killed there.

The cen­tre is in a light in­dus­trial area that in­cludes a Co­caCola bot­tling plant.

AP PHOTO

In­ves­ti­ga­tors en­ter the Armed Forces Ca­reer Cen­ter through a bullet-rid­dled door af­ter a gun­man opened fire on the build­ing Thurs­day in Chat­tanooga, Tenn.

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