The military identified on Friday the four Marines killed in a shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn., three of whom deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan and one of whom received two Purple Hearts for his time in service.
Four Marines were killed on Thursday when Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez allegedly opened fire on two military facilities, also wounding three other people before being shot and killed by police. Authorities first responded to 25 to 30 shots fired at a military recruiting office, then chased the suspect about 7 miles to a Navy reserve center, where the four Marines were killed.
One of the murdered Marines, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, was a field artillery cannoneer who joined the Marines in 1997 and received two Purple Hearts, according to information provided by the Marine Corps. He deployed to Iraq twice in 2004-2005 and 2007-2008, as well as a recent five-month deployment to the Western Pacific that ended in January.
Sgt. Sullivan’s brother Joe — also a war veteran — told a local Massachusetts paper that he was still trying to process his brother’s killing.
Sgt. Carson Holmquist joined in 2009 as a automotive maintenance technician. He deployed twice to Afghanistan for a combined total of almost eight months.
Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, a reservist on active-duty orders at the time of the shooting, had just joined the service in February 2014, also serving as a field artillery cannoneer.
All four Marines who were killed were serving with Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion,14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“I’ve known Marines who were killed-in-action serving overseas who understood the risk that they were taking in a combat zone, but the targeting of unarmed Marines, in our own country by an American citizen, is a chilling reminder to us all that terrorism has no boundaries,” Rep. Michael Coffman, Colorado Republican and a Marine Corps veteran, said in a statement.
A Marine was also injured in the shooting, but was treated and released from the hospital on Thursday. A Navy petty officer injured in the attack is still undergoing medical treatment at a local hospital on Fridayafternoon, according to a Navy statement.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill condemned the attack and some, including leaders of the armed services committees in both the House and Senate, said the attack showed that troops should be allowed to carry personal firearms on military bases for protection.
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