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Rep. Marsha Blackburn: 'Senseless Act of Violence' in Tennessee

Image: Rep. Marsha Blackburn: 'Senseless Act of Violence' in Tennessee

By    |   Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 05:04 PM

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn Thursday called that fatal shooting of four Marines and the wounding of two others at two military recruiting centers in Chattanooga a "senseless act of violence."

"I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence that has been carried out on our military facilities in Chattanooga today, resulting in the deaths of four Marines," the seven-term Republican said. "This is a heartbreaking loss for our nation’s military and the entire Chattanooga community.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved and the people of Chattanooga," Blackburn said. "I know that the community will come together to help each other heal."

Later Thursday, on "The Daily Wrap" on Newsmax TV, Blackburn said that citizens must help to stop attacks like those in Chattanooga, which authorities said they are investigating as an act of domestic terrorism.

"One of the things that plays into this is citizen participation and citizens who see something, saying something and being aware," she told hosts Joe Concha and Rick Ungar. This is critical, she said, in "helping law enforcement, and then our intelligence communities, follow up on leads — so people need to participate."

Blackburn was among many Volunteer State Republicans commenting on the shootings, which authorities said were committed by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, of Hixton, a northern suburb of Chattanooga.

Officials were investigating late Thursday whether Abdulazeez, originally from Kuwait, was a naturalized U.S. citizen or a resident of Kuwait.

He was killed by police at the second location, a Navy recruiting center, where Abdulazeez had fatally shot the four Marines.

According to authorities, Abdulazeez first fired shots through the door of an Armed Forces recruiting center, wounding a Marine and Chattanooga police officer.

He then drove about seven miles to the Navy center and fired, killing the other Marines before he was shot to death by police after ramming a gate.

"Today is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga," Mayor Andy Berke said.

Bill Killian, the top federal prosecutor for eastern Tennessee, said the attack was being investigated "as an act of domestic terrorism."

He offered no immediate information on a motive.

Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a three-term congressman who represents Chattanooga on Capitol Hill, said that "this has been a tragic day for Chattanooga and southeast Tennessee.

"My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved in this horrendous situation," he added.

Fleischmann later told Wolf Blizter on CNN that "this is a tragedy. My mood right now is of sadness.

"To happen in my hometown, it makes me ill," he added. "I'm still in a state of shock, but we have to get to the bottom of this."

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who was Chattanooga's mayor from 2001 to 2005, said that he was "heartbroken by the tragic shootings that have taken place in my hometown.

"This is a difficult day for Tennesseans and our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this tragedy," he said.

Rep. Phil Roe, whose district is in the northeastern part of the state, called the shootings a "senseless tragedy."

"My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the senseless tragedy in Chattanooga today," he said.

In Washington, House Speaker John Boehner slammed the attacks as "cowardly."

"It is a reminder that our men and women in uniform are under constant threat, no matter where they serve," the Ohio Republican said. "I’m deeply saddened by this loss of life, and on behalf of the whole House, offer condolences to the families who lost loved ones today.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them, the people of Tennessee, and all of our troops."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn Thursday called that fatal shooting of four Marines and the wounding of two others at two military recruiting centers in Chattanooga a "senseless act of violence."
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2015-04-16
Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 05:04 PM
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