Stars and Stripes
Tara Coop and Cory Dickstein
December 16, 2015
Family and friends of the U.S. sailor and four Marines killed July 16 in Chattanooga, Tenn., attend a memorial service in Chattanooga, on Aug. 15, 2015. The Navy on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, announced it would award Purple Hearts to the slain servicemembers after the FBI called the shooting a terror attack. ADRIAN CADIZ/DEFENSE DEPARTMENTWASHINGTON — The Navy said Wednesday that four Marines and one sailor murdered in Chattanooga will receive Purple Hearts after the FBI announced earlier in the day that the July attacks were an act of terrorism.
The ambush on July 16 claimed the lives of one sailor, Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, and four Marines: Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40, a Purple Heart recipient for wounds received in Iraq; Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells, 21; Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 35, and Sgt. Carson Holmquist, 25.
They were attacked by lone gunman Mohammad Abdulazeez, 24, who fired on the Naval Operational Support Center in Chattanooga. Abdulazeez forced his way onto the facility after shooting at a nearby Chattanooga military recruitment center, where he shot Marine Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley in the leg.The shooter then led police on a chase to the operations support center. Abdulazeez entered the facility with an assault rifle and handgun, killing the five men before he was shot and killed by police.
Cheeley also will receive a Purple Heart, the Navy stated in a news release.
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