- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A man who gunned down four Marines in Tennessee and injured a sailor from Ohio briefly worked at a nuclear plant near Cleveland but was let go after failing a drug test.

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was conditionally hired as an engineer at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant and spent 10 days there before he was let go, FirstEnergy Corp. spokesman Todd Schneider said. Abdulazeez didn’t pass the screening process in May 2013 and “did not meet minimum requirements for ongoing employment,” Schneider said.

A federal official briefed on the matter said the issue was a drug test. The company had earlier said that Abdulazeez had failed a background check.

Abdulazeez underwent general training on company procedures, but his access was limited during his brief employment, Schneider said.

“He worked in an administrative building,” Schneider said. “He was never allowed in the protected area of the plant near the reactor.”

Employees at the plant recognized a photo of Abdulazeez after the shooting and alerted company officials, Schneider said. Abdulazeez, who opened fire on two U.S. military sites in Chattanooga, was killed by police.

One of those injured in the shooting grew up in the northwest Ohio city of Paulding, along the Indiana state line.

Randall Smith, a logistics specialist in the U.S. Navy, joined the military after attending college in Ohio, said his grandmother Linda Wallace, of Midlothian, Texas. She said she didn’t know many details about his injuries and she was flying on Friday to be with her daughter and her grandson.

Smith was married and has three young daughters who aren’t yet school age, she said.

“A lot of people are praying for him,” she said. “He’s a very good, God-fearing man, and he’s a great father. I’m very proud of him.”

Wallace said she was upset to learn that there was little security outside where the shootings took place. She said she never worried about her grandson serving in the military because he’d always been stationed in the U.S. He was in Norfolk, Virginia, before transferring to Chattanooga.


Associated Press writer Ray Henry contributed to this report.

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