A gunman shot four marines in two military facility attacks, on Thursday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the U.S. Navy said. One police officer and two other people were shot during the attacks.
The suspected gunman is also dead, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.
The shootings occurred within a six-mile distance form each other and 40 minutes apart. The first occurred at a military recruitment station, and the second occurred at a Navy and Marines reserve center, an official said. People in the recruitment station at the time of the shooting escaped through the back of the building.
The police officer on the scene was shot in the ankle during the first shooting.
“Today is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga,” Berke said.
A U.S. military official reported that the gunman fired 25 to 30 rounds at the recruitment station.
“Lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country, and I think I join all Tennesseans in being both sickened and saddened by this,” Governor Bill Hasalam said.
The city of Chattanooga is stuck together through the difficult time. People lined up at a nearby blood donation center in hopes of helping those wounded in the attacks.
Several different areas were locked down during the attacks. The WSMV reported that the governor’s office in Nashville was locked down following the shootings, along with the city’s health department and a community college.
Chattanooga resident, Carolyn Taylor, works in an area that was locked down. She told WRCB that she heard multiple gunshots before police rushed to Amnicola Highway near the incident.
“I’ve worked on Amnicola for several years,” said Taylor. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Never.”
Resident, Gina Mule, who works as a server at a restaurant, said she heard a “Pow, pow, pow!” in the morning at work, before she ran to the window and saw a man firing a “high-powered rifle” at the recruiting offices at about 10:50 a.m.
Both of Tennessee’s U.S. senators expressed their condolences on the Senate floor.
“We understand a shooting took place at the naval reserve center in Chattanooga and a police officer has been injured,” Senator Lamar Alexander said. “We understand other individuals at the naval reserve center may have been injured as well.”
The White House has stated that President Obama has been briefed on the shooting.