Officials: 2 military facilities attacked in US state

2015-07-16 20:25
Reserve recruitment personnel stand in the parking lot of the Navy recruiting building in Chattanooga. (Tim Barber, AP)

Reserve recruitment personnel stand in the parking lot of the Navy recruiting building in Chattanooga. (Tim Barber, AP)

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Chattanooga - At least two military facilities in Tennessee were attacked in shootings on Thursday, including one at a Navy recruiting building, officials said.

Chattanooga police said in a tweet on Thursday afternoon that the active shooter situation was over, though there was no word on what had happened to the suspect or suspects.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference that it was a "very terrible situation". He did not release any other details. Berke said there's "an officer down" at a military reserve centre.

Police have set up a command post near one of the sites. It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt.

The US Navy said in a tweet that there was a shooting at a Navy recruiting building in Chattanooga.

Law enforcement officials told recruiters at a facility 11km away that they were also attacked by a shooter in a car. The shooter stopped in front of the recruiting facility, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesperson with the US Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The Army recruiters at the facility told Lepley they were not hurt and had evacuated; Lepley said he had no information about recruiters for the other branches at the facility.

Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass just across the street from the US Naval Reserve building on Amnicola Highway, said she heard a barrage of gunfire around 11:00.

"I couldn't even begin to tell you how many," she said. "It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction."

She ran inside, where she remained locked down with other employees and a customer. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.

"We're apprehensive," Hutcheson said. "Not knowing what transpired, if it was a grievance or terroristic (sic) related, we just don't know."

Near the other shooting location on Lee Highway, Nicholas Donohue heard a blast of gunshots while working at Desktop Solutions. But he had music playing and wasn't quite sure what the noise had been. He turned off the music and seconds later, a second blast thundered. He took shelter in a back room.

By the time he emerged, police were cordoning off the area.

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