WASHINGTON, July 17, 2015 – Four Marines were killed and another service member was wounded in two separate shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, military officials confirmed.
The shootings took place at the Navy Operational Support Support Center, operated by the Navy, and at an armed forces recruiting center, officials said.
Names of the deceased will be released after their families are notified, officials said, adding that the Defense Department is working with local and federal authorities.
The Navy Operational Support Center is used by Navy and Marine Corps personnel, and is often referred to as a “reserve center,” Navy officials said. It provides training and readiness support for reserve-component personnel to enable them to support the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps.
‘Devastating and Senseless’
“The tragedy in Chattanooga is both devastating and senseless,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Department of the Navy family, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in service to our nation during this incident.”
As the investigation unfolds, he added, the priority will be to take care of the families of those affected.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to the first responders on the scene whose prompt reaction was critical to stopping this individual from inflicting further violence,” Mabus said. “Though we can never fully prevent attacks like this, we will continue to investigate, review and guard against future vulnerabilities and do everything in our power to safeguard the security of our service members and their families.”