4 service members, gunman killed in Tennessee shootings
Four US military personnel have been shot dead and four others, including a soldier and a police officer, have been injured during shootings at two military centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
A gunman, who himself died later, first opened fire at a Navy recruiting building and then a Marine Reserve Center on Thursday.
The white male driving a car first opened fire at an Armed Forces Career Center at a strip mall and then sped off in the car toward the US Naval Reserve Center on Amnicola highway, where he fatally shot at the offices, killing the four Marines.
It is not known whether the gunman was killed by officers or shot himself.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said “lives have been lost from some faithful people who are serving our country.”
“I hope the whole state joins me in just the feeling of being sick to our stomachs for the lives lost in the senselessness of this,” Haslam added.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke also said at a news conference that it was a “very terrible situation,” though he did not elaborate on the incidents.
Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass just across the street from the Naval Reserve building, said “I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many” shots were fired. 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.”
US Senator Bob Corker released a statement, saying “I am heartbroken by the tragic shootings that have taken place today in my hometown”.
Corker said that federal, state and local officials will “continue to monitor developments.”
US Attorney Bill Killian said the fatal shootings will be investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.