U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee
(865) 545-4167
July 22, 2015

Law Enforcement and Military Response to the July 16, 2015 Deadly Shootings at a Military Recruitment Center and a Naval and Marine Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, TN—On July 16, 2015, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, of Hixon, Tenn., shot and killed five individuals and wounded two more, including a Chattanooga Police Officer, at a Military Recruitment Center and Naval and Marine Reserve Center.

Evidence collection and testing are still ongoing. The FBI, along with federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will continue to work tirelessly on this complex investigation. Approximately 250 FBI personnel are on the ground in Chattanooga, with more working across the country and around the globe, following almost 400 leads.

A law enforcement news briefing was held today in Chattanooga to share information concerning the timeline of events which occurred on July 16, 2015. Participating in this press briefing were: Major General Paul W. Briar, United States Marine Corp, Commanding General of 4th Marine Division; Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson, United States Navy, Commander, Navy Southeast Region; NCIS Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Keleher, NCIS Central Field Office; FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold, Knoxville Field Office; ATF Special Agent in Charge Steven Gerido, Nashville Field Office; Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher, Assistant Commissioner David Purkey, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; and United States Attorney Bill Killian, Eastern District of Tennessee.

During today’s press conference, FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold described the series of events that occurred on July 16, 2015, as follows:

  • Shortly before 11:00 a.m., on July 16, 2015, the shooter, who has now been identified as Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, drove up to the Armed Forces Recruitment Center and fired shots. He did not get out of his vehicle at this time.
  • Abdulazeez then left the Lee Highway location and traveled to the other facility on Amnicola Highway, crashing into the gate at the Naval Reserve Center.
  • Abdulazeez exited the vehicle, armed with an assault rifle, handgun and numerous magazines of ammunition.
  • A service member fired at Abdulazeez from within the facility as he approached the building. Abdulazeez fired several rounds into building before reaching the facility.
  • Abdulazeez then entered the building and shot the first service member and he then made his way through the building and continued to shoot at those he encountered.
  • Abdulazeez continued to fire on exposed military personnel as he made his way outside to the gated motor pool area and killed two military service members.
  • Two military service members attempted to provide cover and assist the military personnel in getting over the fence and away from Abdulazeez.
  • Abdulazeez continued to fire and killed two others service members.
  • Abdulazeez attempted to move inside the compound at which point he was engaged by the Chattanooga Police Department.
  • One Chattanooga Police Department officer was then wounded and Chattanooga Police Department killed the shooter
  • The heroic actions of these service members saved countless lives.

Both U.S. Attorney Killian and FBI Special Agent in Charge Reinhold extended their sincere appreciation for the cooperation and coordination among all levels of law enforcement as well as the support from the city, state and nation as a whole during this investigation. Representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and NCIS likewise recognized the support from the community and the bravery of the responding police.

As this is an ongoing investigation, no further regular press briefings are scheduled after today. If information becomes available that can and should be shared with the public, either a press release will be issued with the information, or the time and location of a press briefing will be announced. All future media inquiries should be directed to Special Agent Jason Pack, Public Information Officer, FBI, at jason.pack@ic.fbi.gov.

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