By Alan Blinder and Jess Bidgood
New York Times
ATLANTA – A gunman opened fire on two military facilities at Chattanooga, Tenn., on Thursday, leaving four people dead, including members of the military. The gunman was also killed.
The police chief said that among those “brutally and brazenly attacked” were members of the armed services.
The mayor of Chattanooga, Andy Berke, said during a news conference that in addition to the dead, others were injured during the episode.
The city’s statement came about two hours after the U.S. Navy confirmed that a shooting had occurred at a military facility on Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga.
Military officials also reported a separate shooting at a recruiting center on Lee Highway in Chattanooga. Kelli Bland, the chief of public affairs for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, said four Army recruiters had been in the building at the time but were uninjured.
“They did confirm there was a shooting and that they followed the active shooter drills that they have done in the past,” Bland said.
In a statement, the White House said, “The president has been briefed by his national security staff on the Chattanooga shooting and will continue to get updates as warranted.”
The episode unnerved one of Tennessee’s largest cities. Chattanooga State Community College posted an alert on its website that urged people on its main campus to remain inside and to close doors. Lee University, which is near Chattanooga, temporarily ordered a lockdown, the university said.
Bradley Square Mall, in the nearby suburb of Cleveland, also said it had initiated a lockdown, but the mall’s management said that local media reports of gunfire there were inaccurate.
“There have been no shots fired at Bradley Square Mall,” the mall’s Facebook page said. It called the lockdown “a safety precaution.”
Dalya Qualls, deputy communications director for the Tennessee Department of Public Safety, said the Tennessee Highway Patrol was assisting with the incident but did not provide further information.