Marine Corps identifies 4 killed in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Marine Corps has identified the four men killed in an attack on military facilities in Tennessee.
They were identified Friday by the Marines as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan of Hampden, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, North Carolina; Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist of Polk, Wisconsin; and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells of Cobb County, Georgia, who a family spokesman says went by Skip.
Sullivan was deployed twice during the Iraq war and received two Purple Hearts. Wyatt was deployed during both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, while Holmquist was deployed to Afghanistan.
Authorities are investigating why Mohommad Youssuf Abdulazeez killed four Marines at the Navy operational center. Terrorism is being investigated as one possibility, though it is not immediately known by authorities if Abdulazeez had any connection to any known terrorist group.
“Each of these men who lost their lives had served incredibly well,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told CNN on Friday morning. “We’re heartbroken.”
Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun released the following statement in regards to the shooting:
The entire Navy Reserve Force extends its deepest sympathies to the families of the United States Marines who were tragically killed at Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the Navy Reserve Sailor who was critically wounded during yesterdays shooting.
The Navy/Marine Corps team and, indeed, all of the military are like family. And, as family does, we stand together with our primary focus being to assist those who have been affected by this senseless tragedy.
We also want to thank the first responders in Chattanooga for their rapid response and support.
We also want to thank the first responders in Chattanooga for their rapid response and support. As we move forward, the Navy Reserve is committed to working with law enforcement to ensure a full and thorough investigation.”
The U.S. military has not named the wounded sailor or the slain Marines.
But Massachusetts officials told CNN, one of the victims is Thomas Sullivan, a Springfield native who was a Marine Corps. gunnery sergeant. Gov.
Charlie Baker posted a picture of Sullivan on Facebook and the words terror comes home to Massachusetts, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno lamented an assassination and tragic loss.Click here for more photos of Sgt. Sullivan.
Sgt. Sullivan dedicated his life in brave service to his country, Sarno said, and to see it end under such tragic circumstances is heartbreaking.
Flags were lowered to half-staff outside City Hall, and city spokesman James Leydon said Sullivans family is still trying to come to terms with it all. So, too, are people in the community, like resident Jim Sheremeta, who said the death hit close to home.
My heart just went down to my toes because I said, My God, he said.
John Sullivan, co-owner with Thomas brother Joe of Nathan Bills Bar and Restaurant in Springfield, changed his Facebook profile picture to a split shot of his smiling brother in uniform and a black ribbon over the Marines Corps logo. The ribbon has the words in remembrance, and below it appears, R.I.P. Tommy.
The Facebook page describes the late Marine as a graduate of Cathedral High School who grew up in Springfields East Forest Park neighborhood and went on to become a gunnery sergeant. He was our hero, one post states, and he will never be forgotten.Skip Wells
Skip Wells was another of those gunned down, families and friends told CNN.
A 2012 graduate of Sprayberry High in Marietta, Georgia were he was in the band, Wells went on to study history at Georgia Southern University. The school told CNN he enrolled there from 2012 to fall 2013.
When asked Friday about her sons death, Cathy Wells told CNN, My son died doing what he loved for the love of his country and his family.