President Barack Obama is promising a thorough and prompt investigation into the attack at two military sites that killed at least four Marines in Chattanooga.
Obama says it appears the attack was committed by a lone gunman, but that a full investigation is ongoing.
The president is calling the shooting a “heartbreaking circumstance.” He says he’s been briefed about the incident and has been in touch with the Defense Department to make sure military facilities are vigilant.
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.
Chattanooga shooter Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeezwas arrested on April 21, 2015 in Hamilton County, Tennessee, for driving under the influence.
FBI statement on the shootings:
The FBI’s Knoxville Field Office, along with the Chattanooga Police Department and other law enforcement partners, are working jointly to investigate today’s shootings at a military recruitment center and a reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee in which four individuals were killed and three injured. The shooter, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, is also deceased. While it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time, we will conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy and provide updates as they are available.
Prayer vigils are being being held all across the Chattanooga area Thursday night. Metro Tabernacle, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, is holding one at 7 p.m. What is being called a city-wide prayer event is being held at Redemption Point Church, 1907 Bailey Avenue, at 7 p.m.4:53 p.m.
WTVC-TV in Chattanooga reports the shooter was a 2012 graduate of UT Chattanooga with an engineering degree.4:39 p.m.
A U.S. official told ABC News Abdulazeez was killed in a gunfight with police officers. An officer was wounded in the fight as well.4:20 p.m.
The Associated Press says a U.S. official has identified the shooter as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24. He was believed to have been born in Kuwait, and it was unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing, sensitive investigation. It was not immediately clear whether the gunman’s first name was spelled Muhammad or Mohammad.
He is from Hixson, Tennessee, which is just a few miles across the river from Chattanooga.4:15 p.m.
The U.S. Marine Corps says in a statement a Marine recruiter suffered a leg wound while working at the Chattanooga recruiting office. That person was treated at a local hospital and released. Two others were injured, according to police, including a police officer who was shot in the ankle.3:15 p.m.
The mayor of Chattanooga says at a press conference that four Marines were killed in the shooting, including the shooter, which occurred at two Naval Reserve facilities. A Chattanooga police officer was also injured after being shot in the ankle.
“Today is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga,” said Mayor Andy Berke.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian say they are now conducting the investigation as an act of domestic terrorism, but is encouraging people not to put a label on the investigation yet. The FBI is in charge of the investigation, which also involves local and state law enforcement. Killian says he is unable to share facts of the investigation with the media.
The FBI says there is no longer a threat to citizens of Chattanooga. Several hundred FBI resources are expected on scene later Thursday afternoon.
They would not say whether the gunman was killed or took his own life. Numerous weapons were found near the gunman, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold. He says the shooter is believed to be a Chattanooga resident, but he did not work at either military facility.
Family members of the victims are still being notified, so the identities of the victims have not been released. Reinhold says the shooting started around 10:45 a.m. and lasted around 30 minutes.2:55 p.m.
The Associated Press reports a U.S. official confirms five people were killed, including four Marines and the lone shooter.2:42 p.m.
At least two military facilities in Tennessee were attacked in shootings Thursday, including one at a Navy recruiting building, officials said.
Gov. Bill Haslam spoke about the shooting during a media briefing at the state Capitol. “The whole rest of the state joins me in being sick to our stomach for the lives lost and the senselessness of all this,” he said.
Blood Assurance said the Chattanooga shooting victims have required multiple units of blood. The blood bank said they will remain open until 6:30 p.m. Thursday due to the urgent need for donations.2:26 p.m.
Chattanooga State has lifted their lockdown, but has cancelled classes for the day.2:12 p.m
A press conference is expected to start shortly involving Chief Fred Fletcher from Chattanooga Police Department and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.1:47 p.m.
Images from the a recruiting center on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga show bullet holes in the glass. A representative from the Army said all Army personnel are safe and accounted for after the shooting.
Chattanooga Police department said there will be a new conference related to the shooting incident at 2:00 p.m. at the police training center.1:35 p.m.
ABC News reports at lest 2 Marines are wounded and 1 police officer are wounded. They said the shooter is believed to be dead.1:16 p.m.
Chattanooga Police department said their is no longer an active shooting situation in Chattanooga.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – An active shooter was reported at a military facility in Chattanooga, the city’s mayor and the U.S. Navy said Thursday.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference that it was a horrific situation. He did not release any other details. Berke said there’s “an officer down” at a military reserve center.
“It’s a very terrible situation,” he said.
Police have set up a command post near the site. It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt, or whether the shooter had been apprehended.
– U.S. Navy (@USNavy) July 16, 2015
The U.S. Navy said in a tweet that it was investigating a report of a shooting at a Navy recruiting building.
Chattanooga State Community College said in a tweet and on its website that a shooting was confirmed near the campus and that everyone should stay inside and close doors. The campus was on lockdown.
Loretta Blevins, head server at the Track’s End Restaurant about a half-mile down the road from the shooting site, said she was outside and heard about three gunshots.
There were about six customers in the restaurant at the time, and others walking down the street were ushered inside for safety. Police told them there was an active shooter.
There are 16 people there now, locked down, anxiously watching the news.
“It’s breathtaking when you see all the emergency vehicles and you have no idea what’s going on or how close it is to you,” she said.
Blevins said emergency vehicles are streaming up and down the road.
Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, said the recruiting center on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga has recruiting services for all four branches of the military. The Army recruiters told Lepley they were not hit and not injured. They have evacuated and are safe. He has no information about recruiters for the other branches.
Law enforcement told his recruiters that the shooter was in a car, stopped in front of the recruiting facility, shot at the building and drove off.
Jackson said paramedics were standing by but had not transported anyone at this time. Photos posted on Twitter by media outlets showed police blocking a road and a large number of patrol cars.