Four Marines Killed in Attacks on TN Military Facilities
A lone gunman attacked two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Thursday, killing at least four Marines. The gunman was killed in the shootout with police.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, President Barack Obama promised a thorough and prompt investigation into the attack, calling it a "heartbreaking circumstance."
Obama said it appears the attack was committed by a lone gunman, but that a full investigation is ongoing.
Obama spoke in the Oval Office just minutes after returning to Washington from a trip to Oklahoma. He was joined his counterterrorism and homeland security adviser and the FBI director.
The attack began around 10:50 a.m. when a gunman fired on an Armed Forces recruiting center at a strip mall. He then drove to a Naval reserve center about six miles away and opened fire there.
Witnesses say he fired dozens of rounds.
"We saw the silver convertible Mustang and he just unloaded some kind of large rifle," Erica Wright, an eyewitness, said.
"Next thing you know he lifted up his arms - with a big black gun and, just... there was one shot and the endless shots just unloading one right after the other," another witness Lanesha Lewis, said.
Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass just across the street, said she heard the barrage of gunfire.
"I couldn't even begin to tell you how many," she said. "It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction."
Police responded to the scene and returned fire. One officer was injured.
"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.
One official said this is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.
Law enforcement officials said the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a naturalized citizen from the Middle East, according to several media outlets.