SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – One of the Marines killed in Thursday’s deadly shooting in Tennessee is a western Massachusetts native.
Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan was one of the four Marines killed in a suspected home-grown terror attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 40 year-old grew up in the city of Springfield. The city’s mayor, Domenic Sarno said Friday that Sullivan’s death is a loss for the city, and the entire nation.
“This hits home,” the mayor said during a morning news conference at his City Hall office.
Police in Tennessee say 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez first drove by a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, and fired dozens of bullets from a car.
Then, he drove to a Navy-Marine training center. That is where Sullivan and three other Marines were killed, and a sailor was seriously wounded. Two other people were also wounded.
Abdulazeez was killed in a shootout with police. The FBI is now investigating what led to this attack.
GySgt Sullivan’s brother, Joe Sullivan, is a co-owner of Nathan Bill’s Bar & Restaurant on Island Pond Road in Springfield. The other co-owner of the restaurant, John Sullivan (no relation) told 22News that Sgt. Sullivan had just come home this past weekend. He said that he is very upset by what happened, and declined to be interviewed on camera. He said that Sgt. Sullivan was a graduate of Cathedral High School and the former Holy Cross school in Springfield.
In honor of those who were killed in the Chattanooga shooting, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered U.S. and Massachusetts flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and military installations across the Commonwealth. Baker released the following statement:
“The senseless violence that occurred in Tennessee is a terrible tragedy made worse by the fact that the brave individuals whose lives were taken answered the call to serve and protect our nation. Today, our prayers are with the wounded as we wish them a full recovery and our hearts are with the loved ones left behind by the heart breaking loss of four American patriots.”
Thomas Sullivan was a member of the India Battery 3rd Battalion 12th Marines.
Information on memorial arrangements for Sullivan was not immediately available.