Chattanooga shooting investigated as an act of terrorism

A police officer ducks under tape near a memorial in front of an Armed Forces Career Center on Thursday, July 16, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. A gunman unleashed a barrage of fire at the center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart in Chattanooga, killing several and sending service members scrambling for cover as bullets smashed through the windows. The attacker was also killed. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WKRN) – During a media briefing Friday, the U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee Bill Killian said the Chattanooga shooting is being investigated as “an act of terrorism.”

“We will continue to investigate as act of terrorism until investigation shows us otherwise,” he said during a brief news conference.

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher also took the podium and recounted the bravery of officers who dragged the wounded Chattanooga officer out of the line of fire while in a gun battle with the shooter.

Chattanooga police killed the gunman, identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who was wearing a load bearing vest, with extra ammo.

It’s been over 24 hours since the attack began, but the city of Chattanooga is still in disbelief Friday after Abdulazeez open fire in two separate shootings Thursday morning.

The investigation into the shootings that killed four Marines identified as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan of Massachusetts, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of North Carolina, Sgt. Carson Holmquist of Wisconsin and Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells of Georgia.

The others were also injured in the shooting, including a Chattanooga police officer.

The FBI remained on the scene Friday collecting evidence.

PHOTOS: Click here to view photos from the scenes.

The outpouring of love and support for the four Marines killed and three others injured has been incredible with the community leaving American flags, teddy bears, and flowers.

A prayer vigil was held Friday morning at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

Gov. Bill Haslam, who remained in Chattanooga overnight, said he will stay as long as he can be helpful.

“I think two messages for Chattanooga. No. 1 – just know that literally the whole state is praying for you. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve gotten saying if there’s anything at all we can do for Chattanooga, let us know. No. 2, again I’m just so impressed with this city’s heart and the way they respond, from people showing up at worship services to pray to people saying just tell us anything we can do and we’ll help. That’s who Chattanooga is,” he said.

The FBI told News 2 Thursday that they expect to be in Chattanooga for several days processing three active crime scenes. Those scenes include the two locations where the shootings occurred as well as Abdulazeez’s home.

The FBI has asked anyone with information regarding the attack to call 865-602-7582.

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