UPDATE: Five CPD officers named who killed attacker in July 16th shootings
The five officers discharged their weapons and ultimately killed gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez in the July 16th attack.
For the first time, one of the officers who fired his weapon on July 16th tells his story of what happened that day, and publicly honors the five men who lost their lives.
Five Chattanooga police officers shot at Muhammad Abdulazeez at the Navy Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway
Officer Sean O'Brien was picked by the group of officers to speak on their behalf in an emotional interview, talking about those who lost their lives that day and the families they left behind.
Officer O'Brien says he first hear reports of the shooting at Lee Highway over police dispatch. He started driving down Amnicola Highway in that direction and saw the shooter as he passed by the driveway for the Navy Operational Support Center.
As O'Brien turned around to pursue him, the shooter also turned around and sped down through the front gates. He says he and other officers were right behind him and shots were fired immediately.
"It was very clear, very early on what this was, that this was an attack on our country," Officer O'Brien said.
It's not easy for Officer O'Brien to re-live the day four Marines and one Navy Sailor were shot and killed in Chattanooga.
"As true as they are heroes, they also hate hearing that word apply to them," said Chief Fred Fletcher.
Officer O'Brien says July 16th will always be about the five men who lost their lives and their families.
"We are truly sorry for your loss. and you will be in our thoughts and prayers always," he said.
The FBI, United States' Attorney's Office, and Chattanooga PD have cleared for released the names of the five officers who discharged their firearms, killing Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez in the July 16th shootings in Chattanooga.
Abdulazeez fatally shot five U.S. servicemen at the Naval Operation Center on Amnicola Highway.
In a statement from the Chattanooga Police with the permission of the officers are officially releasing the names of these five law enforcement personnel.
- Officer Lucas Timmons
- Officer Keven Flanagan
- Officer Jeff Lancaster
- Officer Sean O’Brien
- Officer Grover Wilson
CPD said per their policy, an Administration Review of this incident was conducted. The Chattanooga Police Department has completed this administrative review of the officer-involved shooting of Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
READ MORE | Fallen Five to be awarded Purple Hearts
“The officers who fired their weapons on this tragic day did so in heroic defense of themselves and others,” said Chief of Police Fred Fletcher. “There is no evidence that this use of force was anything other than justified. I am proud of their actions and humbled by the risks they faced.”
Chattanooga police officer Dennis Pedigo was wounded in the attack, and is still recovering.
President Obama earlier this month called the Chattanooga shootings an act of terror, saying "Terrorists turn to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society. It is this type of attack that we saw at Fort Hood in 2009. In Chattanooga earlier this year."
Afterward, FBI Director James Comey told reporters that the July 16 attacks in Chattanooga were "inspired by terrorist organization propaganda."
There will be a press conference today at 1:30 p.m. Channel 3 will have a live stream of the press conference.