One Year Later: LCmdr Tim White stands by his actions of firing - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

One Year Later: LCmdr Tim White stands by his actions of firing his own gun

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LCmdr Tim White said he had a responsibility on July 16th. His priority was to keep his Navy Sailors and Marines safe. LCmdr Tim White said he had a responsibility on July 16th. His priority was to keep his Navy Sailors and Marines safe.
CHATTANOOGA -

As Commanding Officer of the Navy Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway and the servicemen inside, LCmdr Tim White said he had a responsibility on July 16th. His priority was to keep his Navy Sailors and Marines safe.
    
For the first time LCmdr White is sharing details about what happened inside the gates moments after the shooter broke in, and why he stands by his choice to fire back at the gunman.

"When I saw him, I knew that he had just crashed through the gate. He had a rifle with him, an assault rifle," LCmdr White said, "He was there to hurt people."

LCmdr White was sitting at his desk, with his office window slightly opened and his personal gun inside his top drawer.

He reacted within seconds.

"At that time I fired at him, trying to stop him. My main concern was to prevent loss of life in the facility," LCmdr White said.

LCmdr White emptied his own gun firing at the shooter and the consequences have been weighing on him ever since.

"When I thought, my career is over, when I pulled out my firearm, I would still do the same thing," LCmdr White said.

LCmdr White has been told his actions gave others a warning and possibly more time to find safety.

"I think of ways that lives were saved that day," He said.

"Many Marines have thanked him, saying if it wasn't for his shots they wouldn't have known to run," his wife Franicia said.

LCmdr White's actions created a national debate and put pressure on lawmakers to change the rules and allow military to carry on base.

"They want to be able to not only defend themselves, but defend their brothers."

Even unarmed, eyewitnesses said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt died trying to help others reach safety.

"I can imagine they felt very helpless," White said.

The White family has spent the past year focusing on the good that has come from the Chattanooga shootings, and hope a change in policy would honor the five victims.

"I think that they are honoring their deaths and reacting now and making changes that need to be made," LCmdr White said.

"They fully support and hope that policy will change and that more lives could have been saved had they been allowed to have their personal weapons with them," Franicia said.

The Navy is still internally investigating the actions that took place on July 16th. LCmdr White is still the Commanding Officer of the facility.
    
The Department of Defense is taking a closer look at the laws and policies that regulate the use of personal firearms on base but no official changes have been made at this time.

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