Killing of Marines in Tennessee Condemned
Anaheim, CA:The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has condemned a deadly attack in Tennessee that left four Marines dead.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“We condemn this horrific attack in the strongest terms possible. Such inexcusable acts of violence must be repudiated by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds. The American Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow citizens in offering condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured and in rejecting anyone who would harm our nation’s safety and security. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by this tragedy."
In his report on the tragic incident , Dylan Stableford writes:
Shootings at a pair of military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., Thursday, left five people dead, including four Marines and the lone gunman, officials said.
The shooter was later identified by the FBI as 24-year-old Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.
"It is incomprehensible to see what happened," Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. "This is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga."
Three other people, including a Chattanooga police officer, were wounded in the shootings, Berke said. They were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
The shootings began shortly after 10:30 a.m. at a National Guard office in a strip mall on Lee Highway. A witness there described hearing as many as 20 shots fired there before the gunman fled. A photo posted to Facebook by a witness showed the door of the office littered with bullet holes.
Police say Abdulazeez then drove 7 miles to the Chattanooga naval reserve center, where a witness told CNN she saw a man with "a high-powered rifle" fire multiple shots from a convertible silver Mustang into recruiting offices at the center shortly before 11 am ET.
Four US Marines were killed at the naval center, Pentagon officials told CNN. Their names have yet to be released.
Abdulazeez was killed at the scene.
"Somebody brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed forces," Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said at the news conference.
Because the shootings occurred at US military facilities, the FBI is leading the investigation.
US District Attorney William C. Killian said officials were treating the shootings "as an act of domestic terrorism."
But Ed Reinhold, special agent in charge of the FBI's Knoxville field office, said at this point there is no evidence to suggest it was. Reinhold declined to speculate on a motive.
Following the press conference, law enforcement swarmed a house believed to belong to Abdulazeez, according to the Associated Press. A 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.
According to the Times Free Press, Adbulazeer was arrested on a DUI charge on April 20, 2015.
At the White House, President Barack Obama called the shootings "tragic."
Obama offered "the deepest sympathies of the American people" to the victims' families.
"I'd ask all Americans to pray for the families that are grief stricken," the president said.