Navy to award Purple Hearts to Chattanooga shooting victims

NASHVILLE -- After determining a shooting at a Chattanooga reserve centre this summer was inspired by foreign terrorists, the Navy will award the Purple Heart to the four Marines and one sailor who were killed and the one Marine who was injured there.

See Full Article

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the decision Wednesday in a news release that said the terrorist determination came after an extensive investigation by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigation Service.

"This determination allows the Department of the Navy to move forward immediately with the award of the Purple Heart to the families of the five heroes who were victims of this terrorist attack, as well as to the surviving hero, Sgt. Cheeley," Mabus' statement reads.

The FBI earlier labeled shooter Muhammad Abdulazeez, a naturalized U.S. citizen, a homegrown violent extremist but declined to say what might have motivated him. His family said he had problems with drugs and depression that prevented him from holding on to a job. He was also in debt, and considering bankruptcy at 24.

But investigators also found writings from Abdulazeez that reference Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric who encouraged and inspired attacks on the homeland and was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.

Earlier Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey told reporters the July 16 attack was "inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist propaganda."

That statement came after some had questioned why the Dec. 2 attack that killed 14 in San Bernardino, California, was quickly labeled terrorism but months passed without a determination in the Chattanooga attack.

Abdulazeez first fired shots from his car into a military recruiting centre in a Chattanooga strip mall before driving about 7 miles to a Navy-Marine reserve centre where he killed four Marines and a sailor and wounded a fifth Marine before Chattanooga police killed him.

Those killed were Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, and Marines Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Lance Cpt. Squire "Skip" Wells. Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley was injured.

Smith's grandmother, Linda Wallace, said in a telephone interview that she was frustrated it took months to determine the shooting was inspired by foreign terrorists. But she was pleased to hear of the award.

"He definitely deserved it," she said. "He gave his life for those other guys."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • President says Iran will 'respond' if U.S. missile law passes

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday his country will respond if a bill in the U.S. Congress imposing sanctions on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program becomes law. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday and it now goes to the Senate. Source
  • Ohio to execute Ronald Phillips, man convicted of rape and murder of three-year-old

    World News Toronto Sun
    LUCASVILLE, Ohio — Ohio is preparing to put a condemned child killer to death in the state’s first execution in more than three years. Forty-three-year-old Ronald Phillips is scheduled to die Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Source
  • New York eyes ‘textalyzer’ to crack down on distracted drivers

    World News Toronto Sun
    ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state is set to study the use of a device known as the “textalyzer” that would allow police to determine whether a motorist involved in a serious crash was texting while driving. Source
  • Life in prison sought for abduction, rape of 4-year-old girl

    World News CTV News
    BILLINGS, Mont. -- Prosecutors say a Montana man turned every parent's nightmare into reality when he chased down a 4-year-old girl at night in a park, snatched her while a friend watched helplessly, then raped and left her for dead on an American Indian reservation. Source
  • Residential school cemetery in Regina to get provincial heritage designation

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- The chief of the group representing Saskatchewan First Nations says designating a residential school cemetery as a provincial heritage property is a sign of recognition and respect. Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says people went through a horrific time at the Regina Indian Industrial School. Source
  • Stolen tortoise found and returned to animal shelter

    World News CTV News
    New York City police have found a rare tortoise that was stolen from an animal shelter. Police announced Tuesday they have recovered the African spurred tortoise named Millennium that was stolen from the Alley Pond Environmental Center last week. Source
  • Senate health care debate could be suspenseful and raucous

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Senate's days-long debate on health care features a dynamic that's relatively rare on Capitol Hill. Genuine suspense. Debate kicked off Tuesday without an obvious endgame. Several Republicans voted to start debate but said the bill will have to be changed for them to vote to actually pass the legislation later this week. Source
  • TSB to release report into fatal capsizing of fishing boat off N.B.

    Canada News CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- A new report into the fatal capsizing of a fishing boat that claimed the lives of two men off the coast of northern New Brunswick will be released today. The Transportation Safety Board will release details of its investigation into the June 2016 sinking at a news conference in Moncton, N.B. Source
  • Trump: Liberation from 'Obamacare nightmare' is close

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Celebrating a slim but symbolic health-care win in Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump told supporters in Ohio that the nation was one step closer to liberation from the "Obamacare nightmare." "You think that's easy? That's not easy," he told a crowd of thousands just hours after the Senate took a small but hard-fought first step Tuesday toward Republicans' years-long promise to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law. Source
  • N.S. town to bid celebratory send off to derelict environmental ship

    Canada News CTV News
    SHELBURNE, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia town was holding a celebratory send off today for its notorious guest, the MV Farley Mowat, if the weather permitted. The Town of Shelburne invited residents to come to the waterfront to bid farewell to the derelict vessel that was to be towed out of its harbour. Source