A Navy commander and a Marine may have defied orders and fired at the terrorist who murdered five servicemen in Chattanooga last week.
It is unknown if either the unnamed Marine, who was killed in the attack, or the officer, identified as Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, hit Muhammad Abdulazeez, or why they were armed at all in defiance of U.S. policy stating that only the military police can be armed at domestic military facilities, according to the Navy Times.
A report distributed among senior Navy leaders during the shooting’s aftermath said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center’s commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage Abdulazeez, Navy Times confirmed with four separate sources. A Navy official also confirmed a Washington Post report indicating one of the slain Marines may have been carrying a 9mm Glock and possibly returned fire on the gunman.
The various law enforcement agencies investigating the Chattanooga shooting declined to comment. A source close to the investigation said details of the rampage’s last few minutes remain unclear, but no information has emerged to contradict the Navy’s internal findings.
Authorities will not know whether White or the Marine hit Abdulazeez until an autopsy and ballistics assessment are performed.
Several attempts to contact White were unsuccessful.
Whether they hit Abdulazeez or not, their actions may have saved more lives by delaying his ability to fire at more targets — which is exactly why servicemen and women should be armed on their home base.
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