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Shooting has military members on alert, but not afraid

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A deadly shooting that killed four marines has local military on alert, but not afraid.

The shooting happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee early Thursday. Four marines and the suspected gunman were killed.

A marine sergeant at the recruiting headquarters in Indianapolis said an email about the attack was quickly sent out to all recruiting offices. They were told to be more vigilant, more than any normal day.

Alert, but not afraid; that’s how public affairs marine Sgt. Tyler Mitchell is responding after his brothers and sisters in arms were attacked and killed in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“Our focus remains on the families and helping local authorities in any way that we possibly can,” he said.

That also includes staying safe in central Indiana. The shootings happened at a Naval Reserve center and a military recruiting center. Because of that, service members at offices in Indiana told 24-Hour News 8 that they were advised to shut the blinds in their windows and to also only leave the building in pairs.

“Common sense procedures. When we were overseas on the ship, we were always told never travel alone,” said Navy Reserve veteran Timothy Rivers. He said putting on the uniform can make you a target but he added that it didn’t stop him from wearing it proudly.

“The exact opposite as a matter of fact. I had to be reminded and explained thoroughly why I couldn’t wear my uniform in public in London when I was on duty over there for two weeks,” he said.

Sgt. Mitchell feels same way while in his fatigues and isn’t going to let today’s tragedy change that.

“These violent acts that happen, very rarely has it made me feel any more afraid or anything like that in public,” he said.

But that sense of pride for serving their country isn’t all that’s on their minds.

“You kind of think about the families and the marines who are affected by this. My prayers go out to them,” said Sgt. Mitchell. “I’m sure any marine would tell you the same.”

“The bottom line is immediately my heart goes out to my brothers and sisters in the Navy and all the military,” said Rivers.

24-Hour News 8 also talked with Gary Coons of the Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security. He said he feels the shooting was an isolated incident but that investigators are working to make sure there aren’t any copycat attacks.