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, Tennessee, and said he was believed to have been born in Kuwait, though 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 center for all five branches of the military, then apparently driving to a Navy-Marine training center 7 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 center on Old Lee Highway, where a shot rang out around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., followed a few seconds later by more fire, said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, the leader for Army recruiting at the center.
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 neighboring Air Force, Navy and Marine offices, he said.