CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — More details have been released about the shooting deaths of four Marines in Chattanooga that are being investigated as acts of terrorism.
The FBI and military and law enforcement officials said bravery was the only reason more were not killed when Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire at the Armed Forces Career Center and the Naval Reserve Support Center Thursday.
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan was a two-time Purple Heart recipient who served two tours in Iraq.
He was one of the four Marines gunned down.
WREG spoke with one Chattanooga woman whose family knew the shooter, Abdulazeez, personally.
“They didn’t see him acting weird or anything of that nature,” Kristian Carr-Grigsby said. “A lot of them were friends with his family. So, they didn’t see any type of problem or red flag with him.”
A Chattanooga Police Officer was shot and injured, along with others.
Police Chief Fred Fletcher said two other officers laid on top of him, shielding him from more gunfire, and dragged him back to safety.
Abdulazeez was killed by police.
Emotions took over when Fletcher described how they sprang into action.
“Chattanooga Police proved themselves to be, in every sense of the word, heroes. They are my heroes,” he said.
The FBI would not confirm whether Abdulazeez, a naturalized US citizen from Kuwait, had ties to terrorist organizations, but said they were investigating every possibility.
While Fletcher grieved for the families of the four Marines killed, he said he would never forget his officers’ bravery in the face of evil.
“I’ve never been prouder to be a police officer than I was yesterday and today,” he said.
The other Marines who were killed have been identified as Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, and Sgt. Carson Holmquist.