Shootings at Tennessee military recruiting centers, gunman killed

16 Jul, 2015 10:29 pm

TENNESSEE – A gunman was reported dead after shootings on Thursday at several places in Chattanooga, Tennessee, including a US military recruiting centre, and a police officer was hit by gunfire, authorities and local media said.

CBS News reported the gunman was dead a couple of hours after the shootings began, quoting police sources. In a tweet, the Chattanooga Police Department said that the situation was over and that details would be forthcoming.

The shootings appeared to have occurred in at least two locations including the recruiting centre and a US Navy Reserve centre about six miles (10 km) away.

“We’ve got an officer down,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke told reporters, calling it a “very terrible situation.”

A witness at a glass company near the Navy centre said the area was on lockdown, with the shooting there starting at about 11 a.m. (1500 GMT).

“We have heard multiple shots fired,” said Marilyn Hutcheson of Binswanger Glass installation and repair service.

The emergency department at Erlanger Medical Center, a major hospital in the southeastern Tennessee city, was also on lockdown, hospital spokeswoman Susan Sawyer said.

Local media reports said the shooter appeared to be firing from an automobile. A photo of the recruiting centre broadcast on cable TV news station CNN showed its entrance riddled with bullet holes.

Federal authorities were also on the scene, local news reports said. The Tennessee Highway Patrol also assisted local law enforcement, said spokesman John Harmon.

Chattanooga State Community College, near where shots were heard, advised on its website: “Everyone stay inside, close doors.”

The city along the Tennessee River is in the southeastern section of the state just north of the Georgia border. Just over 173,000 people live there, according to a 2013 estimate from the US Census Bureau. –Reuters

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