- Associated Press - Saturday, August 29, 2015

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The U.S. Navy is looking into possible security changes after the July 16 slaying of four Marines and a sailor at Chattanooga’s U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center.

Capt. Jack Hanzlik, Fleet Forces Command spokesman, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press (https://bit.ly/1Vlr9cj ) the Navy is looking at things like the site’s layout and the policies that govern how personnel respond to such attacks.

It also will look at how well the Navy communicated with law enforcement and medical responders, and how survivors and victims were supported during and after the attack.

Hanzlik said any recommended changes could impact similar facilities throughout the Navy.

The attack began at a military recruiting center where 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez fired shots from his car before moving on to the reserve center. He crashed his car through the gates before going into the main building and killing Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith and four Marines: Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Lance Cpt. Squire “Skip” Wells. Abdulazeez died at the reserve center in a shootout with police.

Investigators are still looking at Abdulazeez’s motives, but they have said he was a homegrown violent extremist.

The shooting set off a national debate about whether members of the military should be armed on U.S. soil. The site’s commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Tim White, has said he used a personal firearm to shoot at Abdulazeez as the attacker ran toward the building. Having the gun was likely a policy violantion.

Hanzlik said the Navy’s investigation will consider all the facts relating to the incident, but he declined to comment specifically on the use of personal firearms.

The investigation is being conducted by a 20-person team led by Rear Adm. Frank Morneau. The team’s first report should be finished by the end of September but will go through several reviews.


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