- A gunman shot and killed four Marines and a Navy sailor and wounded two others at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
- Authorities identified the suspect as 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the AP reported. He is reportedly dead.
- The gunman appeared to act alone, and there are no known public safety concerns following the attack, US officials said at a press conference.
- The FBI is heading a "national security investigation" into the shooting, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The FBI said in a statement that "it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time."
What we know about the shooting
The Chattanooga Free Press described the attack:
The attacks, which happened minutes apart, began when a single shooter, identified as 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, drove a silver Ford Mustang convertible to a Lee Highway recruiting center at 10:45 am and fired more than a dozen rounds into the building. After his initial barrage, he led responding police officers on a high-speed chase down Amnicola Highway to a second military installation, where he opened fire again and was killed after a gun battle that one witness estimated lasted 20 minutes.
FBI agent Ed Reinhold said at a press conference that the shooter had two long guns, a handgun, and a vest with more ammunition.
The four slain Marines have been identified: Thomas Sullivan, from Hampden, Massachusetts; David Wyatt, from Burke, North Carolina; Carson Holmquist, from Polk, Wisconsin; and Squire Wells, from Cobb, Georgia. A fifth victim, Navy sailor Randall Smith, died from injuries while in the hospital.
What we know about the suspect
Authorities identified the suspect as 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez. He reportedly died in the shooting, although officials haven't explained how.
Authorities are still investigating the shooting, saying it's too early to ascribe a motive. The suspect had no known ties to international terrorist groups, and so far there's "no indication" that the attack was inspired by the terrorist group ISIS, US officials said at press conferences. He also wasn't on the radar of the FBI or law enforcement prior to the shooting, a US official told the AP.
Abdulazeez's family released a statement apologizing and saying he suffered from depression:
The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe, Cari Wade Gervin and Thomas Gibbons-Neff explained, "The portrait emerging of Abdulazeez isn't one of a committed Muslim or vengeful jihadist, but rather an aimless young man who came from a troubled home and struggled to hold down a job after college, said friends and law enforcement officials." According to the Post, Abdulazeez was treated for depression, but he frequently stopped taking his medication. He used drugs, but would later feel bad about it because it violated his religious beliefs. He was reportedly ashamed of his DUI, which he got after smoking marijuana and snorting crushed caffeine pills. And he also had a personal interest in guns.
Abdulazeez was born in Kuwait, but lived in the US with his family for years and became a naturalized US citizen, according to the Wall Street Journal's Pervaiz Shallwani, Devlin Barrett, and Damian Paletta. He recently visited Jordan — in a months-long trip that's being scrutinized by federal officials, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Chattanooga Free Press reported that he graduated from Red Bank High School. His senior yearbook quotation reportedly was, "My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?"
Senior quote: "My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?" http://t.co/cL3wXBf2qj pic.twitter.com/QfhV5PcJHQ— Times Free Press (@TimesFreePress) July 16, 2015
A spokesperson for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga told the AP that Abdulazeez graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. The Tennessee Valley Authority also confirmed to the AP that Abdulazeez was a student intern a few years ago at the federally owned utility, which operates power plants and dams in the South.