Officials: 2 military facilities attacked in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP/WKRN) – At least four U.S. Marines and the sole gunman believed responsible were wounded in a shooting incident in Chattanooga, Tennessee according to news reports.

At least two military facilities in Tennessee were attacked in shootings Thursday, including one at a Navy recruiting building, officials said.

Chattanooga police said in a tweet Thursday afternoon that the active shooter situation was over, though there was no word on what had happened to the suspect or suspects.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said 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.

Police have set up a command post near one of the sites. It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt.

The U.S. Navy said in a tweet that there was a shooting at a Navy recruiting building on Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga.

Law enforcement officials told recruiters at a facility 7 miles away on Old Lee Highway that they were also attacked by a shooter in a car. The shooter stopped in front of the recruiting facility, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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 branches at the facility.

Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass just across the street from the U.S. Naval Reserve building on Amnicola Highway, 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, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly. 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.

“We’re apprehensive,” Hutcheson said. “Not knowing what transpired, if it was a grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know.”

They’ve seen dozens of emergency vehicles rush by: bomb teams, SWAT teams, and state, local and federal authorities.

“They’re all here,” she said. “You name it, it’s out there.”

Near the other shooting location on Lee Highway, Nicholas Donohue heard a blast of gunshots while working at Desktop Solutions. But he had music playing and wasn’t quite sure what the noise had been. He turned off the music and seconds later, a second blast thundered. He took shelter in a back room.

“Even though it knew it was most likely gunfire I heard, you also don’t want to believe it’s happening in the moment,” he said. “Since I didn’t see anything, I couldn’t be sure.”

By the time he emerged, police were cordoning off the area.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker  released the following statement on the tragic shootings.

“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.”

Corker served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001-2005.

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