At least two military facilities, including a Navy recruiting building, were attacked by a shooter in Tennessee on Thursday. Five people have been killed, including four Marines and a sole gunman.
A Chattanooga police officer was shot in the ankle and an unspecified number of other individuals were hurt in the "vicious attack," Mayor Andy Berke told reporters at a press conference this afternoon. Mayor Berke called the situation "a nightmare for the city of chat." US attorney Bill Killian said that authorities were treating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism, but later added that the exact nature of the incident will only become clear after further investigation.
One of the two shootings occurred at a Naval reserve center and the other at a Naval recruiting building seven miles away. Authorities were reluctant to divulge further information given the ongoing nature of the investigation. Chattanooga Chief of Police Fred Fletcher assured residents that the situation is under control and that officers have been deployed to "every place that might need them and are prepared to respond to anybody who does."
Across from the Naval recruiting building where one shooting occurred, those who saw the event relay their experiences to the Associated Press.
“It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly,” said Marilyn Hutcheson, who works across the street and says she heard the gunfire around 11 a.m., to The Associated Press. “The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction.”
She ran inside where she and others remained locked down through the ordeal. According to Ms. Hutcheson, the gunfire continued for an estimated 20 minutes.
Not knowing what happened, she remains apprehensive.
“If it was a grievance or terroristic related,” she wonders, “we just don't know.”
This report includes material from the Associated Press.