Motive In Deadly Chattanooga Shooting Remains Unknown

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jul 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 05:51:23-04

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The motive for a shooting in Chattanooga that killed four U.S. Marines and injured three other victims was still not known, according to officials. 

Governor Bill Haslam spoke to the media Friday morning and would not say if the incident was an act of terror. 

"I think we'll let the U.S. Attorney make that call about whether it is [an of terrorism]," Haslam said. "I think that's why you do the homework to find out if this is just one person, who for whatever reason, committed a stupid, horrible act, or was there another connection? That's why the FBI will do their work." 

READ MORE: 4 Marines Killed In Chattanooga Shooting; Suspect Also Dead

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said at a briefing Thursday night that investigators do not believe that there are any threats to the general public following the fatal shooting of four marines at a recruiting center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart.

Killian added that the investigation into the shooting is "an ongoing extensive and expansive investigation with federal, state and local agencies, headed by the FBI."

"As far as we know, at this juncture there are no safety concerns for the general public," Killian said.

Governor Haslam, along with Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Rep. Bob Corker and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have praised the response of those officials who responded to the scene.

Media reports have indicated that 40-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, of Massachusetts, Skip Wells, of Georgia, and David Wyatt were all killed in the attack.The identity of the remaining victim has yet to be released.

No other identities were immediately released. 

Bassam Issa, President of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, has condemned the shooting and called the act, "cowardly." An interfaith prayer vigil honoring the victims is being held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Chattanooga. (MORE: Islamic Society President Condemns Chattanooga Shooting)

The alleged shooter has been identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. While his motive remained unknown, NewsChannel 5 has learned Abdulazeez was a naturalized citizen out of Kuwait.

A high ranking official confirmed Abdulazeez started work as a shift supervisor at the Superior Essex plant on Southeast Parkway in Franklin a few months prior to the shooting. (MORE: Authorities Confirm Chattanooga Shooter Worked At Franklin Plant)

He was supposed to be at work around 7 p.m. Thursday, but that official who didn't want to be named said Abdulazeez had been calling in sick for a few days.

Abdulazeez graduated from UT Chattanooga with an engineering degree.

(The Associated Press also contributed to this report.)