Four U.S. Marines and a terrorist were killed this afternoon in Chattanooga, Tennessee during an attack on a military recruiting station and reserve military operation support center.
At around 10:45am Thursday morning, a likely ISIS-inspired terrorist began an attack at the Armed Forces Career Center just off of Lee’s highway where several shots were fired but only a single superficial wound was reported.
What we know:
- Four marines killed
- Suspect killed
- One officer injured
- Terrorist is Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez
The attacker then progressed to the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center where he fatally shot four marines.
As the second attack continued, local police responded, pursued the suspect and killed him. One officer was wounded in the exchange.
Officials are now saying that the terrorist is likely ISIS-inspired due to the timing and choice of targets, but nothing hard has connected Abdulazeez to ISIS yet. Thursday was the last day of the Muslim religious time of Ramadan.
The killer has been identified by law enforcement as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez – a previously unknown name to anti-terrorist officials.
Abdulazeez is thought to be a 24 year-old Kuwaiti-born naturalized citizen of the United States who attended a Chattanooga high school and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he received an engineering degree.
Many reports are pointing at the following tweet as a possible trigger. The timestamp on the message 10:34, just 11 minutes before the shooting began. As the account has been suspended, we are relying on a screenshot taken earlier and posted all over the internet. As twitter timestamps are local to the computer having taken the screenshot and/or could have been changed by modifying a twitter setting, the time could be different.
FBI personnel are going through the gunman’s car, still on the scene and his home in Hixson, TN which is just across the river from the two military scenes.
Security has been drastically increased at military recruitment center in Times Square in New York City.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) July 16, 2015
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson released a statement at 4:30pm Eastern Time announcing that security at a number of military facilities was being upgraded out of an abundance of caution.
So far, just two of the slain marines have been identified: Thomas Sullivan, 40 of Massachusetts and Skip Wells, 21 of Georgia.