CHATTANOOGA — Navy officials say they are going to award the Purple Heart to four Marines and a sailor who were killed, and a Marine who was injured when a gunman attacked a Chattanooga reserve center this past summer.
U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the decision Wednesday in a news release that also noted that the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigation Service determined the attack was inspired by a foreign terrorist group. That determination was necessary to bestow the award.
Earlier Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey told reporters the July 16 attack was “inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist propaganda.”
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Killed in the attack were Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Lance Cpt. Squire “Skip” Wells. Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley was injured.