Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeez
Photo Credit: Hamilton County Sheriffs Office via AP
News of the Navy's internal reporting that a Navy officer fired on the gunman comes as other reports suggest amid confusing and contradictory reports that a Marine may have had been carrying a weapon and engaged Abdulazeez. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that the FBI recovered a 9mm Glock at the scene that may have been carried by one of the slain Marines and it may have been used to engage the shooter.
It is possible that both the Marine and the Navy officer were carrying personal firearms, but authorities the FBI and all agencies have steadfastly refused to comment on any of the details of their investigation beyond what's been they have public ally released publicly.
According to FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold, who spoke at a press conference July 22, Abdulazeez plowed his rented car through the gates, and with Chattanooga Police chasing close behind, the gunman got out of the car and stormed into the building. Abdulazeez wore a vest with extra ammunition and carried an assault rifle and a handgun. An additional gun was found in his vehicle.
A service member inside the building saw Abdulazeez approaching and fired at hit, Reinhold said. The investigator's description of this incident matches account of White's actions that day, as relayed by officials close to the investigation to Navy Times. The gunman shot back and then proceeded inside.
Once inside, he fatally wounded a sailor and "continued to shoot those he encountered," Reinhold said.
As police followed the gunshots, he then walked out the back door into a gated motor pool area, where troops tried to scramble over a fence to safety, and it was here that the four Marines were killed.
When the shooting first started, troops inside the building went room to room to rush their colleagues to safety, said Maj. Gen. Paul W. Brier, commanding general of the 4th Marine Division. Then, some rushed back into the fight.
Two guns belonging to service members were recovered at the scene, he said; shots were fired from at least one. It's unclear if the gunman was hit by one of those weapons, Reinhold said. The military will investigate whether the service members were authorized to have those weapons, he said.
NCIS head spokesperson Maryann Cummings would not say if this investigation would be led by her organization or the command, but said more information would be made available soon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Law enforcement work the scene of a shooting July 16 at the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Photo Credit: WTVF via AP)
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.