The Chattanooga Times Free Press is reporting that four Marines “were killed in two attacks on military centers in separate parts of Chattanooga by a unknown gunman, leading to lockdowns at local hospitals as well as the Army Recruiting Center on Lee highway as well as the Naval and Marine Reserve Center at the Chattanooga Riverpark, where shots were fired.” The Times Free Press is also reporting the shooter is dead.
UPDATE 3:34 pm eastern
CBS News is reporting “[t]wo law enforcement sources told CBS News that the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.”
According to the Times Free Press article, updated as of 3 pm eastern:
At least four Marines were killed and one police officer was shot in the attacks, according to multiple sources.
A shooter is dead, according to reports, and police say this is no longer an active shooting situation.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam called the situation a “tragedy” and “sickening,” confirming that lives were lost. The Governor’s mansion, along with many other sensitive facilities in the region, was put on lockdown immediately following the shootings.
Witnesses at both the Amnicola and Lee Highway sites reported hearing multiple gunshots in each case, with the bulk of the firing happing at the Amnicola Highway location. Shortly after the shooting, blue markers littered the ground outside the recruiting station on Lee Highway where shots were fired, and police completely blocked off Amnicola Highway to traffic.
President Obama has been briefed on the situation, and multiple law enforcement agencies have responded to the scene, including the FBI.
Carolyn Taylor, who works at Binswanger Glass across Amnicola Highway from the incident site, said she heard what sounded like over 100 gunshots.
“It was eight, 10 rounds at a time,” she said. “Several people were shooting.”
Taylor said the police arrived and took the employees behind the building and later let them back inside.
She said the business was still locked down more than two hours after the shooting and police were bringing food into the employees.
At Lee highway, witnesses also reported hearing multiple gunshots.
Nicholas Donahue, an employee at Desktop Solutions, said there were two groups of four to eight shots.
Another witness said he saw the shooter drive away at high speed after the shooting there.
Toscano Italian Grill co-owner Mohamed Elbardissy heard shots and saw the shooter drive away at high speed.
“He was driving a silver, convertible Mustang — a white guy,” Elbardissy said.
“One of the guys, he got shot in his leg,” Elbardissy said. “He was trying to join the Navy.”
Victims were rushed to Erlanger, where police officers put the hospital on lockdown. Shortly after the shooting, there were more than half a dozen police cars with lights flashing, and ambulances arrived one after another.
Police officers at Erlanger guarded the door with high powered rifles and ordered the news media across the street.
Erlanger CEO tells me the hospital was on lockdown “so that we could actively manage the disaster.”
At one point, officers closed a certain outside the Emergency Room, obscuring the ambulance from public view. They continued to work on the person in the ambulance for several minutes before bringing him inside the hospital. He appeared to be awake and sitting up.
Family members arrived later and were escorted inside by other police officers, who put their arms around the women.
Bruce Gans, owner of Tri-State Pools at 6220 Perimeter Drive, near Lee Highway where the shooting occurred at the U.S. Naval Recruiting Station, heard at least three gunshots this morning.
“We had the back door of the store open when we heard ‘Pop, pop, pop,’ which sounded liked an AR-15. Within minutes, it seemed, cops were all over the place. We heard rumors that five Marines had been killed. We locked the doors.”
“I just heard all the shooting,” said Fred Wright, a counter salesman at Carquest Auto Parts downhill from the U.S. Army Recruiting Office at 6219 Lee Hwy.
Then Wright saw recruiting office personnel come running.
“All of them starting running through the brush and the briars,” Wright said. “One of them was yelling, ‘Call 911, someone’s shooting at us.'”
“Three of them came in here, and we called 911,” Wright said.
As of yet, the shooter has not been identified, nor has there been any statement from national, state, or local authorities as to whether the incident is an act of terrorism.
Associated Press is reporting that U.S. Attorney Bill Killian initially called the shootings an “act of domestic terrorism.”
However, subsequent reports on social media indicate that Killian may have backed away from that characterization.