The attacker who shot four Marines to death in Chattanooga, Tennessee, had at least three guns plus a vest to carry extra ammunition, and he apparently died in a firefight with police, authorities said Friday.
The killer, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, had at least two long guns — only identified as rifles or shotguns — and a handgun, said Ed Reinhold, special agent in charge of the bureau’s Knoxville office.
Reinhold did not elaborate on the weapons. A law enforcement official told NBC News the three weapons that Abdulazziz had were an AK-47-type assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a 9 mm pistol.
Abdulazeez sprayed a military recruitment station with at least two dozen bullets on Thursday, then drove about seven miles to a Navy and Marines reserve center, where he killed the Marines.
The attacker shot a Chattanooga police officer during a firefight at the reserve center. Other officers dragged the wounded officer, Sgt. Dennis Pedigo Jr., to safety while shots were still being exchanged, police said.
Officers engaged Abdulazeez shortly after he arrived at the reserve center, Reinhold said. Abdulazeez was wearing a load-bearing vest so he could carry extra magazines of ammunition.
“He was a moving target, and he was able to, obviously, kill the four Marines and wound the one sailor,” Reinhold said. The sailor and the police officer were two of three people wounded in the attack.
All indications are that Abdulazeez was killed by police, Reinhold said. Authorities had not previously said whether Abdulazeez killed himself or was killed by police. An autopsy is pending.
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher called the police response a “breathtaking example of that everyday courage.” He said other officers raced to the scene, including some who were off duty at home and put on their uniforms to come help.
“Chattanooga police officers proved themselves in every sense of the word, heroes,” the chief said. “They are my heroes.”
Reinhold said the FBI has not formally classified the shooting as terrorism but was investigating it as terrorism until the facts prove otherwise.
Authorities have not uncovered evidence that the shootings were inspired or directed by ISIS or any other terror group. “He doesn’t seem to have left much of a social media footprint,” one official said.