Four Marines were killed in Thursday’s shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a senior defense official confirmed.
The suspected shooter is also dead, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.
Investigators “have not determined whether it was an act of terrorism or whether it was a criminal act,” FBI special agent in charge Ed Reinhold told reporters. “We are looking at every possible avenue, whether it was terrorism — whether it was domestic, international — or whether it was a simple, criminal act.”
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian earlier told reporters that authorities were treating the shooting as an “act of domestic terrorism.”
[Previous story, posted at 2:32 p.m. ET Thursday]
Gunshots were fired at a military recruiting center and a Navy Reserve center in different parts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, late Thursday morning, officials and witnesses said.
One officer is “down” in connection with the shootings, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke told reporters. He was not specific about the officer’s condition.
Witnesses said a man sprayed bullets at the glass doors of a military recruiting center at a strip mall on Lee Highway, and the U.S. Navy tweeted Thursday that a shooting happened at a separate location — the Navy Reserve center on Amnicola Highway. The two sites are 7½ miles apart.
By 1:15 p.m., the “active shooter situation” was over, police tweeted.
There are no indications so far of any link to terrorism, two sources briefed on the case said.
Gina Mule, a server at a restaurant, said she saw a man who’d been in a silver convertible Mustang, firing a “high-powered rifle” at the recruiting offices at about 10:50 a.m.
She said she first heard “Pow, pow, pow!” She then went to a window, through which she said she saw the man firing shots.
“I don’t know how many shots he fired, but it was a lot,” she said.
A second witness, April Grimmett, said she was working at a hair salon near the recruiting center when she looked out a window and saw a man ducking in between cars.
“Shortly after that, we heard the (shots). It was very loud and very fast,” Grimmett said, without saying what happened to the man she had seen.
A photo that she took shows glass doors damaged by the gunfire.
“I could not believe how many bullet holes were in that door. It was insane,” she said.
Fred Wright, a salesman at a nearby auto parts store, said after he heard gunshots, three people ran into the shop, hollering they thought “someone was shooting at them.”
Wright said he called 911.
“Sounded like it was 30, 40 shots to me,” Wright said, adding that he never saw a shooter.
“Horrific incident in our community,” Berke, the mayor, tweeted. “We will release details as they are confirmed. Prayers to all those affected.”
Horrific incident in our community. We will release details as they are confirmed. Prayers to all those affected
— Andy Berke (@AndyBerke) July 16, 2015
Photos posted on Twitter by media outlets showed police blocking a road and a large number of patrol cars.
Chattanooga State Community College asked people on its main campus to stay inside because of a “confirmed shooting,” the school said on Twitter.
Tiger Alert!!! Main Campus: Confirmed shooting. Stay away from Riverpark. Everyone stay inside, close doors.
— Chattanooga State (@ChattStateCC) July 16, 2015
Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga is “on precautionary lockdown” due to the shooting reports, hospital system spokeswoman Lisa McCluskey said.
“We have not received any shooting victims,” McCluskey said. “We are still accepting new patients.” The lockdown, she said, “is just a precautionary measure.”