CHATTANOOGA, TN (/AP) – An FBI official says investigators have no evidence at this point that anyone but a lone gunman was involved in the fatal shooting of four Marines in Tennessee.
FBI agent Ed Reinhold also told a news conference Thursday night that the shooter initially fired from inside his car when he drove by a military recruiting center at a strip mall. Reinhold said the shooter then drove to another U.S. military site about 15 miles away, where he got out of his car before fatally shooting the Marines.
Reinhold also told the news conference that “there is no indication at this point that anybody else was involved.”
“Obviously, we’re still at the beginning of this investigation. We will explore any possibility and that includes whether or not anyone else was involved.”
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian says investigators do not believe that there are any threats to the general public following the shooting.
Authorities also told the news conference that they still have not uncovered a motive for the shootings.
The suspect in the fatal shooting of four Marines is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
University spokesman Mike Andrews said 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. The Tennessee Valley Authority confirmed that he also was a student intern a few years ago at the authority, a federally owned utility that operates power plants and dams across the South.
Hussnain Javid is a 21-year-old senior at the university. Javid said Abdulazeez studied electrical engineering at the same college and that they both graduated from Red Bank High School in Chattanooga several years apart. Javid said Abdulazeez was on the high school’s wrestling team and was a popular student.
Javid said Abdulazeez was “very outgoing” and that he was well known.
The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center said it has seen nothing so far to connect Abdulazeez to any terrorist organization.
A U.S. official says Abdulazeez is believed to have been born in Kuwait, but it was unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing, sensitive investigation.
Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, TN told News Channel 11 it’s enacted extra security procedures in light of the shootings in Chattanooga.
“NFS is on a state of heightened awareness, not in a lockdown posture,” said Susan Metcalf, NFS spokeswoman.
She would not elaborate on what that heightened awareness meant or whether employees were free to come to or leave from the plant.
NFS makes nuclear fuel for the government.
“It’s a very terrible situation,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said. Police have set up a command post near the site. It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt, or whether the shooter had been apprehended.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001-2005. He issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“I am heartbroken by the tragic shootings that have taken place today in my hometown,” said Corker. “We have been in touch with federal, state and local officials and continue to monitor developments and have offered our assistance. This is a difficult day for Tennesseans and our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this tragedy.”
Timeline of events
President Barack Obama is promising a thorough and prompt investigation into the attack at two military sites that killed at least four Marines in Chattanooga.
Obama says it appears the attack was committed by a lone gunman, but that a full investigation is ongoing.
The president is calling the shooting a “heartbreaking circumstance.” He says he’s been briefed about the incident and has been in touch with the Defense Department to make sure military facilities are vigilant.
Obama spoke in the Oval Office just minutes after returning to Washington from a trip to Oklahoma. He was joined his counterterrorism and homeland security adviser and the FBI director.
Law enforcement swarmed the house believed to belong to the man authorities say killed four Marines and wounded others in two attacks on military facilities. An Associated Press reporter saw officers with weapons drawn at the house and two females were led away in handcuffs. It’s not clear who these females are.
The law enforcement presence came shortly after a news conference in which officials described the attacks.
A U.S. official says the gunman in the shootings in Tennessee has been identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
He was believed to have been born in Kuwait, and it was unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing, sensitive investigation. It was not immediately clear whether the gunman’s first name was spelled Muhammad or Mohammad.
He is from Hixson, Tennessee, which is just a few miles across the river from Chattanooga.
Authorities and officials say the gunman killed four Marines and wounded a police officer and others in two attacks on military facilities. The gunman was also dead.
The Chattanooga mayor says the killings of four military personnel during an attack on two facilities in the city are “incomprehensible.”
Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference Thursday that the shooter had also been slain. He didn’t say how. A police officer and others were also wounded in the attacks.
“I want to say again, it is incomprehensible to see what happened and the way that individuals who proudly serve our country were treated,” he said. “As a city, we will respond to this with every available resource we have.”
A U.S. attorney says the killing of four people during a shooting rampage in Chattanooga is an “act of domestic terrorism.”
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian made the comments Thursday during a news conference. Mayor Andy Berke says two different military sites were “viciously attacked.” The shooter was killed at a Naval reserve center, where the victims were also slain.
There was also a shooting at a military recruitment center about 7 miles away.
The death toll in the Chattanooga shootings includes four U.S. Marines and the sole gunman believed responsible, a U.S. official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The official said two others, a soldier and a police officer, were wounded.
The shootings happened at two military facilities in Chattanooga on Thursday, sending troops scrambling for safety.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says people serving their country have lost their lives in the attacks on two military facilities there.
Haslam did not say how many people were killed or provide further details about who was among the dead on Thursday.
Chattanooga police say the active shooting is over, but they have not said what happened to the suspect or suspects.
Mayor Andy Berke said earlier at a news conference that there was “an officer down” at a military reserve center.
An active duty Army recruiter in Chattanooga says he was at his office when someone opened fire and he heard 30 to 50 shots.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, was working at the Armed Forces Career Center off Lee Highway. There are also offices for Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp there.
“We heard one single shot, which kind of sparked our attention. Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds. We realized it was an actual shooting, so we then initiated our active shooter drill: getting down low to the ground, moving to a safe location. And we waited until everything seemed to be clear.”
He said he did not see the shooter or a vehicle.
Chattanooga police say the active shooting is over, but they have not said what happened to the shooter.
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 says that the president will continue getting updates from his staff as needed.
Chattanooga police say the active shooter situation is over, but they have not said what happened to the suspect or suspects.
Obama was in Oklahoma to speak about criminal justice reform at a federal prison at the time of the shooting. He plans to return to Washington on Thursday afternoon.
Shootings have been reported at two locations in Chattanooga.
One of them took place at the Armed Forces Career Center off Lee Highway. Television images of a door to the center in a strip mall showed more than a dozen bullet holes in the glass.
About 7 miles away, another shooting happened at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center.
That center sits between the highway and a pathway that runs through Tennessee RiverPark, a popular park at a bend in the Tennessee River northeast of downtown Chattanooga. It’s in a light industrial area that includes a Coca-Cola bottling plant and Binswanger Glass.
The two entrances to the fenced facility have unmanned gates and concrete barriers that require approaching cars to slow down to drive around them.
Police say the active shooting situation is over, but there is no word what happened to the suspect or suspects.
Chattanooga police say the active shooting that apparently took place at two military facilities is now over, but there is no word yet on what happened to the suspect or suspects.
Police said in a tweet: “Active shooter situation is over. Details forthcoming.”
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said earlier at a news conference that it was a “very terrible situation.” He did not release any other details. Berke said there’s “an officer down” at a military reserve center.
It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt, or how many shooters may have been involved.
A woman who says she witnessed the shooting in Chattanooga says she heard a barrage of gunfire near one of the shooting sites.
“It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew there were police cars coming from every direction,” said Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at a Binswanger Glass.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a brief news conference that police were pursuing an active shooter and there was an officer down.
Hutcheson says she ran inside, where she remains with other employees and a customer. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.
“We’re apprehensive,” Hutcheson said. “Not knowing what transpired, if it was a grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know.”
The surrounding area was placed on lockdown, including Chattanooga State Community College. The Amnicola Highway was also closed as police searched for the gunman.
Police have set up a command post near the site. It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt, or whether the shooter had been apprehended.
The U.S. Navy said in a tweet that it was investigating a report of a shooting at a Navy recruiting building.
Chattanooga State Community College said in a tweet and on its website that a shooting was confirmed near the campus and that everyone should stay inside and close doors. The campus was on lockdown.
Loretta Blevins, head server at the Track’s End Restaurant about a half-mile down the road from the shooting site, said she was outside and heard about three gunshots.
There were about six customers in the restaurant at the time, and others walking down the street were ushered inside for safety. Police told them there was an active shooter.
There are 16 people there now, locked down, anxiously watching the news.
“It’s breathtaking when you see all the emergency vehicles and you have no idea what’s going on or how close it is to you,” she said.
Blevins said emergency vehicles are streaming up and down the road.
Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, said the recruiting center on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga has recruiting services for all four branches of the military. The Army recruiters told Lepley they were not hit and not injured. They have evacuated and are safe. He has no information about recruiters for the other branches.
Law enforcement told his recruiters that the shooter was in a car, stopped in front of the recruiting facility, shot at the building and drove off.
CBS News and the Associated Press Contributed to this report.