A police officer investigates outside the Armed Forces Career Center after a gunman opened fire on the building. Photo / AP
A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military
facilities Friday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines, officials
said. The suspect also was killed.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said five people died in all, including the gunman.
Attorney Bill Killian said officials were treating the attacks as an
“act of domestic terrorism,” though FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed
Reinhold said authorities were still investigating a motive.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing
investigation, told The Associated Press four U.S. Marines were among
the dead. A soldier was being treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound
to the leg, according to one of the officials. The other official said a
police officer also was wounded.
Bullet holes can be seen in the windows of the Armed Forces Recruitment Center. Photo / AP
“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.
There was also a shooting at a military recruitment center about 11 kilometres away.
Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox,
Kentucky, said his recruiters there were told by law enforcement that
the shooter, who was in a car, stopped in front of the facility, shot at
the building and drove off.
The Army recruiters at the facility
told Lepley they were not hurt and had evacuated; Lepley said he had no
information about recruiters for the other military branches at the
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, an Army recruiter in
Chattanooga says he was at his office when someone opened fire and he
heard 30 to 50 shots.
A Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper guards the highway after the shooting. Photo / AP
President Barack Obama has been briefed by his
national security team on the shooting involving two military sites in
Tennessee. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the president will
continue getting updates from his staff as needed.
Marilyn Hutcheson, who works just across the street, said she heard a barrage of gunfire around 11 a.m.
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.”
She ran inside,
where she remained locked down with other employees and a customer. The
gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.
apprehensive,” Hutcheson said. “Not knowing what transpired, if it was a
grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know.”