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

  • Publisher cancels Milo Yiannopoulos book 'Dangerous'

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos' publisher has cancelled his planned book, "Dangerous." Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint announced Monday that "after careful consideration" they had pulled the book, which had been high on Amazon.com's bestseller lists and was the subject of intense controversy. Source
  • 'We're all humans': U.S. border agent watches as asylum-seekers cross into Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    The agents who patrol the Canada-U.S. border in Quebec say it's been hard for them to watch as refugee families trudge through snow and freezing conditions to flee to Canada.Montreal becomes 'sanctuary city' for after unanimous voteRCMP help asylum-seeking family through snow after run-in with U.S. Source
  • Canadian troops in Iraq mount pressure on ISIS around Syrian border

    World News CBC News
    Canadian special forces have shifted their operations in northern Iraq to put pressure on ISIS in places outside the strategic city of Mosul — including along the border with Syria. Rather than firing, now they're mainly scrutinizing. Source
  • Bring on the Swedes

    World News Toronto Sun
    Just when you thought the refugee debate could not get more explosive, a new question arises this week: Should we let in more Swedes? To hear Donald Trump tell it, those blond/blonde bombshells must be clamoring to flee their chilly, crime-riddled homeland. Source
  • Boy, 6, dies after falling through ice in Alberta

    Canada News CBC News
    A young boy is dead and his brother is in hospital after the pair fell through the ice into a canal in the Airdrie, Alta., community of Bayside. A neighbour in the community called 911 around 1:25 p.m. Source
  • Thousands turn out for anti-Trump protests across U.S.

    World News CBC News
    Thousands of demonstrators across the U.S. turned out to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents Day protest dubbed "Not My President's Day." The numbers weren't close to the million-plus who thronged the streets following Trump's inauguration a month earlier, but the message on Monday was similar. Source
  • Killing of ISIS warlord who beheaded prisoners called ‘revenge’

    World News Toronto Sun
    A bloodthirsty ISIS warlord who orchestrated beheadings of captured prisoners has been blasted off the face of the earth. Reports say terror titan Abu Zar was obliterated in a coalition air strike Sunday Zar was notorious for his bloodlust in dealing with civilians and his enemies. Source
  • Canadian troops in Iraq shift to pressure ISIS around Syrian border

    Canada News CTV News
    ERBIL, Iraq -- Canadian special forces have shifted their operations in northern Iraq to put pressure on ISIL in places outside the strategic city of Mosul -- including along the border with Syria. Rather than firing, now they're mainly scrutinizing. Source
  • Vancouver Aquarium bringing back belugas despite mysterious deaths

    Canada News CBC News
    The Vancouver Aquarium will bring back beluga whales to its facility, despite a pledge not to do so until it determined the reasons behind two mysterious beluga deaths last November. CEO and president John Nightingale said the aquarium will build the new Canada's Arctic exhibit as planned, with a focus on research and with belugas. Source
  • Thousands of demonstrators across U.S. say 'Not My President'

    World News CTV News
    Thousands of demonstrators turned out Monday across the U.S. to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents' Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day. The numbers weren't close to the million-plus who thronged the streets following Trump's inauguration a month earlier, but the message was similar. Source