CHATTANOOGA: A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities Thursday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines, officials said.
The suspect also was killed. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, told The Associated Press the death toll included the four U.S. Marines and the sole gunman believed responsible.
Two others, a soldier and a police officer, were wounded, the official said. “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 Haslam said.
The U.S. Navy said in a tweet that there was a shooting at a Navy recruiting building in Chattanooga.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, an Army recruiter in Chattanooga says he was at his office when someone opened fire and he heard 30 to 50 shots. A facility 11 kilometers away also was attacked.
Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky, said his recruiters there were told by law enforcement that the shooter, who was in a car, stopped in front of the facility, shot at the building and drove off.
The Army recruiters at the facility told Lepley they were not hurt and had evacuated; Lepley said he had no information about recruiters for the other military branches at the facility.
US President Barack Obama has been briefed by his national security team on the shooting involving two military sites in Tennessee.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the president will continue getting updates from his staff as needed.
Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass just across the street, said she heard a barrage of gunfire around 11 a.m.
“I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many,” she said.
“It was rapid fire. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction.”
She ran inside, where she remained locked down with other employees and a customer. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.