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THE SITUATION ROOM
Shooter in Chattanooga Rampage Identified. Aired 5-6:00p ET
Aired July 16, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: breaking news, domestic terrorism. A gunman attacks two military centers in Tennessee, killing four U.S. Marines. CNN has just confirmed his identity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL KILLIAN, U.S. ATTORNEY: We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Deadly rampage. Was the shooter intent on killing more people? Were there other targets? We're looking at his motivation and whether he was planning something even more deadly.
Lack of security: The attack is raising serious new questions about the vulnerability of U.S. military sites. Is enough being done to secure them?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following breaking news. A deadly shooting rampage targeting a U.S. Navy Reserve center and a U.S. military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Four U.S. Marines are confirmed dead. At least three other people have been injured, including a police officer. The gunman also is dead. Sources have just identified him to CNN as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, born in 1990. As of now, it is being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.
And there's more breaking news: a verdict has been reached in the trial of James Holmes, who shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. We're standing by for the verdict to be read just over an hour from now.
We're covering the breaking news this hour with our correspondents and our guests. Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, begins our coverage.
Pamela, we're getting new details about this shooter. Tell us what we know.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the FBI is now officially identifying the shooter, Wolf, as 24-year-old Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez. In this statement just out from the FBI, it says, "While it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time, we will conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy and provide updates as they are available.
I have learned from sources, Wolf, that the FBI is treating this at this stage as a terrorism investigation. This is being investigated by the joint terrorism task force.
At this point, officials have not determined a specific motive, but this is being treated as a terrorism investigation. We've learned from authorities that the shooter, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, lived in the area there, but I'm being told by sources that at this stage it doesn't appear he was someone that was on the FBI's radar, and it doesn't appear at this stage that he had direct connections to the military.
I can tell you, Wolf, that there has been a heightened state of alert, especially in the last few weeks or in the month of Ramadan at military installations because of the threat from ISIS. We don't know again, even though this is being treated as a terrorism investigation by the FBI, what the motivation was for this shooter. That is what authorities are trying to figure out right now as we speak -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Pam, we're also getting a new warning from the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of this murder down in Chattanooga. What do we know about that?
BROWN: Well, Secretary Jeh Johnson said that DHS is monitoring the situation, offering resources, but also said that, in direct response to what happened in Chattanooga, to those shootings of military facilities that DMS has ordered the security posture to be raised at federal facilities across the country in direct response to these shootings, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much. We'll get back to you, Pamela Brown.
Let's go to Chattanooga, the scene right now. CNN's Victor Blackwell is there for us. Tell us, Victor, what law enforcement is looking into at the scene, and you're right there.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we've seen law enforcement here. Not only the local authorities, but the FBI, the ATF start to open up the other businesses and to look inside to see if there was other damage there.
We know that they are exactly trying to find out exactly what motivated this attack. Markers down in a parking lot -- actually let me get out of the way and show you what's happening here now, as it looks like authorities are settling in for some time here.
It was just before 11 a.m. this morning when the shooter, who has been identified as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, came to this location, shot the Armed Forces Career Center, dozens of bullet holes here in the windows, and then drove to another location, where we now know those four Marines were killed. Eventually, the shooter himself was killed.
Again, we just said it today, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez. There's some who are coming to conclusions based on his name and based on this being the final day of Ramadan, but a special agent with the FBI is saying do not rush to conclusions. They will look at this investigation from many angles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED REINHOLD, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We're looking at every possible avenue, whether it was terrorism, whether it was domestic, international, or whether it was a simple criminal act. We're looking at that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:05:09] BLACKWELL: And Wolf, just a moment ago, I witnessed a pretty powerful moment in which a young man, Matthew Spurgeon, 24 years old, came here to this location and, right in front of the crime tape, fell to his knees and started sobbing. After a moment with clergy, they were asking, why did he come back here?
And he said, "Because this is where I was recruited into the Air Force several years ago, and that door with the bullet holes in it, it's not just a door. It is a gateway. It is a gateway to the life that made me the man I am today" -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Victor, obviously a very emotional scene there, as well. Stand by. We're going to get back to you.
I want to bring in Tom Fuentes, the former FBI assistant director, and Evan Perez, our justice reporter. Evan, I assume that the authorities are going through all of the e-mail traffic, his social media background, all of his phone calls, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24 years old. What do we know about this guy?
TOM FUENTES, CNN FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: They're doing exactly what we're doing, trying to figure out, you know, what social media history there is of this -- of this suspect, what -- perhaps what trouble with the law he's had before.
At this point he was not someone that the FBI even knew about or was one of the hundreds of people that they've had under investigation. That's what's bothersome to them.
As you know, before the Fourth of July, there were all these warnings about whether or not there were people who might try to carry out some attacks. And we knew also, Wolf, that there were a lot of concerns about the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Fitr begins tomorrow. That's the end of the holy month of Ramadan, begins tomorrow.
And so that was also something that law enforcement and intelligence officials were concerned about, because they viewed that that would be a moment, a time that might trigger people who want to carry out inspired attacks against law enforcement, against U.S. government, against U.S. military. Again, we don't know the motivation yet of this suspect, but this is all the things that they're looking at, at this point.
BLITZER: It's not going to take long, though, Tom, for the FBI, other U.S. law enforcement authorities, where the local, state, federal, to find out a lot about Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.
FUENTES: They'll find out a lot quickly, but it will take a little bit of time for the Internet service providers to provide his e-mail records, if he had e-mail accounts, phone records, may have to go back through the metadata of who he's called over the last couple of years that may be connected to this or have inspired him.
So there's a lot of that type of information. The search of his residence, computers. Does he have laptops there or other literature indicating why he might have had a motivation to do this? So there's a great deal to be learned yet before they can really decide what the motive might have been.
BLITZER: And they'll speak to his family, his friends. They're going to go through...
FUENTES: Family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, anybody that's been associated with him, certainly.
BLITZER: When the U.S. attorney in Chattanooga says they're investigating this as an act of domestic terrorism, does that rule out the possibility it could be an act of international terrorism?
FUENTES: No, it's an unnecessary thing for him to say what they're investigating it as. What they're investigating is why did he commit these murders? The jurisdiction for the FBI would apply just for the murder of Marine Corps, because they're U.S. government representatives; and they're military officers performing their duty, but not in combat. So that's why.
BLITZER: Take a look at these pictures. On the left part of the screen, Evan and Tom, those are bodies down there. We assume the bodies of four of those -- those four U.S. Marines who were shot and killed just a little while ago in Chattanooga. We're seeing these -- these aerial photos coming in right now.
Stand by. I want to go to our White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. I take it, Jim, the president has now been briefed on this shooting rampage?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf, the president just returned to the White House in the last couple of moments. He did not make any comments about these shootings when he returned from his trip from Oklahoma, but our producer, Kevin Liptak (ph), who is a physician, on the South Lawn of the White House, said the president had a grim expression on his face, as he returned back into the White House.
And should tell you, Wolf, the White House has been very tight- lipped about this case all day long. Aides will only say that the president has been briefed on this investigation. He's getting constant updates from officials. And earlier in the day you heard, as we've been discussing, these
questions about what the local authorities believe may be behind this. There was some talk that it may be related to domestic terrorism. And then the FBI official who was there during that news conference seemed to back away from that.
I asked officials here at the White House, "What about that? Can you sort that out?" They're just not doing that at this point. We do know that the president -- and you've seen this, as well, Wolf -- but he's eager to talk about this issue of gun control. We heard that in the aftermath of the church massacre down in South Carolina.
And Vice President Joe Biden just this afternoon was at an event where the topic of gun control was on the agenda. But the president has said he doesn't know how many more of these cases it will take to drive public opinion when it comes to that issue.
[17:10:13] But there is, of course, the other concern here at the White House, and that is whether or not cases like this might be connected in some way to a global terrorist organization or that you might have a lone wolf who's inspired by a global terrorist organization like ISIS. That's an ongoing concern inside this White House.
But we've been given no sense at this point over here by officials that they are looking at that as a possibility down in Tennessee. And I think, Wolf, before they send the president out to make a statement about this, which I suspect they will do at some point, either on paper or in person that they will definitely want to have all of that information set before sending him out there, Wolf.
BLITZER: I suspect it's not going to take long for the FBI and others to find out a whole lot about Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez. Stand by over there at the White House, Jim Acosta. Joining us on the phone right now is Gina Mule. She works at a restaurant right next to the U.S. military recruitment center there in Chattanooga.
Gina, tell us what you saw.
GINA MULE, WITNESS (via phone): Well, I told my story tons of times today, and it's just still not even real. Actually what happened, I mean, I was in the kitchen. I was doing my prep for the day. I heard tons of -- I didn't even know they were gunshots at first. I heard tons of loud noises in front of the restaurant. And then when I looked out of the window, I seen the vehicle. It was a newer model Camaro, silver Camaro with no top. No, it was a Mustang, sorry. A Ford Mustang with no top, a convertible.
And I didn't see the guy's face at all, you know, like the part that holds up the windshield directly in front of his face, and from the angle where I was standing, I could just see his arms out of the window holding this high-powered rifle. And he was just shooting into the businesses. And I just sat -- you know, sat there and watched. I was in shock at how many times he fired. I mean, it was numerous times, 20, 30 gunshots into the businesses right next door.
BLITZER: Could you tell, Gina, what kind of weapon he had?
MULE: I have no idea about any kind of guns. I just know that it wasn't rapid fire. It was just pow pow pow pow pow, one after the hour. It was a big old rifle.
BLITZER: I know you didn't see his face, no?
MULE: I didn't see anything but his arms and the gun. And then once I seen the gun, my attention pretty much was focused on the gun the whole time.
BLITZER: So what did you do? Did you just -- were you frozen? What did you do?
MULE: Yes, I -- you know, I remember going through -- what was going through my head, I was just like, is this real? Is this a real gun? What is going on? Is this really happening?
And then after he pulled off here, several people from the businesses right next door, you know, we all went over to help. Thankfully everybody made it out.
And, you know, we opened up the doors and was calling, you know, "Is everybody OK?" You know, making sure everyone was all right and not hit, nobody was laying on the floor, things like that. And there was just debris, just stuff flying on the air in the office where he'd fired. And we were just all in shock. We've been in shock all day long. Just very blessed that nobody got hurt next to us.
I know there was fatalities at the other location. And I mean, it's just crazy that that happened today.
BLITZER: And as I want, you know, where you work at a restaurant right next door to that military recruitment center. Do they have any security there at all from the outset? Do you see any protection for the U.S. military?
MULE: Well, no, no. I mean, they're just, you know, just in their offices doing their jobs. People come in, sign up for the military, stuff like that. There's not any kind of armed guards or anything like that.
BLITZER: So it's just like a regular retail shop at a strip center. Right?
MULE: Yes, it's an equipment center. See, what it is, is there are several -- several offices lined up right next -- you know, one after the other. You have the National Guard. You have the Air Force, the Army, and the Marines, and the Navy. And I know that three of the separate officers were fired on. I don't know if there was any more. But I know the Air Force, Marines and Navy, all of the doors were fired into.
BLITZER: Well, Gina, are you OK?
MULE: Yes, I'm fine. BLITZER: All right. Well, good luck to you. Thanks so much for
sharing your eyewitness account. Gina Mule, joining us from Chattanooga.
Also joining us right now is Congressman Chuck Fleischman. He represents that Chattanooga district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. What can you tell us about this shooter, first of all, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez?
REP. CHUCK FLEISCHMAN (R), TENNESSEE: Well, Wolf, I was on the House floor casting votes when I heard that there was a horrific shooting, and the word -- the news has just gotten worse and worse.
All I know is that apparently, it was a single shooter. We have lost four brave Marines. This is a tragedy. The news is starting to unfold. We're seeing great cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement officials, but my mood right snow is one of sadness. We need to find out more about what this person was doing, why they did it and get to the bottom of this.
[17:15:10] For something like this, Wolf, to happen right here in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, it makes me ill.
BLITZER: Do you have any clue? Have they given you -- the authorities, the investigators, any indication what possibly could have been the shooter's motivations?
FLEISCHMAN: Right now it's an investigation under way. I can tell you this. There are several people coming to Chattanooga, federal officials, state officials and local officials, law- enforcement officials all working together that they can put this -- put this information into some discernible information. But right now we just don't know.
And I just want to ask the American people to please pray for the victims, for their families. To have something of this magnitude happen, I'm still in shock, Wolf. I see you at the airport all the time at Reagan. I was so upset at Reagan I dropped my book. It went all over the place. I'm still in shock.
I just want to try to comfort the families and the people right now, but we've got to get to the bottom of this. We've got to get to the bottom of this and make America safe again.
BLITZER: Do you think it's time to rethink security around these military facilities at these shopping centers? For example, I understand they want to make it accessible for young men and women who want to enlist in the U.S. military and have an opportunity to speak to some of these recruiters? But maybe they should tighten up the security.
FLEISCHMAN: We're going to have to look at everything. Some of these recruiters have come to many of our events at Armed Forces Day. We know these wonderful men and women who serve our country and who take people in.
There have been two locations, obviously, involved in Chattanooga. One is the recruiting facility behind me. There was another facility. But this is a horrible, heinous act. It cannot be tolerated, but we're going to have to take a look at security all across this nation. We live in a dangerous world.
Sadly, this is not the world I grew up in. And sadly, it's the world that my children and my grandchildren will have to grow up in someday, and we have got to make America safe.
BLITZER: And one final question, Congressman. The authorities you've spoken to, are they absolutely certain that only one shooter was involved?
FLEISCHMANN: I have not heard that, so I can't confirm or deny that. I know they've identified one shooter. They've announced who that was, and they are in a full-fledged investigation. They will be thorough.
You can be assured of this. I've spoken to federal officials. I've spoken to the Navy. I've spoken to law enforcement. There is an all-out pushing to all the information out so that we find out what caused this, why it was caused, and I hope and pray this never happens against anywhere in these great United States.
BLITZER: We'll take in close touch with you, Congressman Chuck Fleischman, the representative from this Chattanooga area in the United States House of Representatives. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
And I want to point out to our viewers that Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, he's now been formally identified as the shooter. There are varied spellings of the name. You might see it. The spelling that we're using here on CNN, you see that on your screen right now. That's the official spelling that was released by the FBI, the FBI statement, so we're going to go with that spelling of Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24 years old, now identified as the shooting in this rampage that killed four U.S. Marines.
Much more on the breaking news coming up. We're going live to the Pentagon. There's facing some serious new questions about security at these military recruiting centers in the wake of this deadly rampage. Much more right after this.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, the shootings at two U.S. military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Four U.S. Marines are dead. The gunman is dead, as well. I want to go right back to the White House. Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is getting word we're getting ready to hear from the president? Is that right?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. A fairly unusual statement. We're going to hear from the
president in the Oval Office within the next few minutes. The reporting pool here at the White House has gone back into the Oval Office. Not the full contingent of the White House press corps, and so we should know very shortly. It's one of those tape, carry back. If you don't mind me using too much TV jargon here. It's not going to be a live statement, Wolf.
But within minutes, we do expect to have that tape to play for you of the president and his remarks on these shootings down in Tennessee. As we've been saying over the last half hour, he has been briefed on these shootings. He is getting constant updates. But the White House has yet to say whether or not there is some sort of connection to any kind of terrorist activity. That sort of definitive statement has not come out of this White House, has not come out of the president's mouth, but we hope to have more information shortly.
I should point out, Wolf, that Vice President Joe Biden was at an event earlier this afternoon. It was an event really targeting young progressive groups, and gun control was on the agenda. And the vice president made a brief comment about the Tennessee shooting, saying that his heart goes out to the family. But we don't have a further read out of the vice president's comments at this point.
But again we should have more information on what the president has to say within the next few minutes, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. He is the commander in chief, totally appropriate for him to make a statement. Four United States Marines shot and killed in Chattanooga today.
Stand by. We'll get that tape of the president in the Oval Office. We'll share it with our viewers.
In the meantime, I want to go to our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr. She's working her sources over there. Four U.S. Marines are dead, Barbara. What are you learning?
[17:25:20] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, additional Pentagon leadership briefed on this situation throughout the day.
At this hour, the procedures are kicking into place to help the families of the four dead Marines, the four murdered Marines. The typical procedure is sending out liaisons, assistance officers to help them through the next difficult days and weeks.
Wolf, these are the very same procedures that would be used as if these Marines fell in battle in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is as if they were killed in combat.
When you look at the video, especially of the shopping mall where the recruiting center was, a lot -- a lot of people may have questions about lack of security. This is something the military is struggling with. A recruiting center like this is part of the community. They
want young people to feel comfortable to come in, talk to a recruiter, talk about having a military career, so security is not what it would be at Ft. Bragg, Ft. Hood, Norfolk Naval Base. This is not a big military facility. Where the four Marines were killed at the other site, also not a major facility for the United States military.
There is stepped-up security -- make no mistake about that -- over the last several months, due to the threat of ISIS, of lone-wolf attacks. But very difficult to do in some of these community areas, because it has to be remembered, in this country, the U.S. military is part of the community, part of the community family.
So you're going to see a lot of questions about where was the security? What is the appropriate level of security in American towns and cities where the U.S. military lives and works? It's a very difficult problem for the military to deal with. But right now the real focus is what federal law enforcement take the lead on this, and deal and help those four Marine Corps families -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We're only a little bit away from hearing from the president of the United States, Barbara. President Obama speaking in the Oval Office. We're going to play that tape. Just moments ago, just getting ready for that.
But they haven't identified these four Marines who were shot and killed, have they?
STARR: No, Wolf. The standard procedure, again, as if they were killed in a combat incident. In a mass casualty incident, the rule around the Pentagon is they will be identified 24 hours after the last and final family member is notified. They want to make sure all of the family members who need to be notified are, and then there will be a public statement identifying them.
But in today's world of social media, what we have seen so often with the military and with incidents across the country sadly is there are social media postings from family and friends, they come out, they talk to local television and news media affiliates. They post messages about their loved once on various social media accounts. I would expect to see that in the coming hours, and especially with the Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps is the smallest of the military services. It is a real family. I can guarantee you at this hour, many Marines across the Corps know exactly who these young Marines are, exactly who was gunned down by this attacker. There's no question that they know. I think it's a matter of as these names begin to more informally emerge on social media, we will begin to learn more about them.
BLITZER: We don't know either, Barbara, if all four were men, or if women were involved, as well, among the dead Marines.
STARR: We just don't, Wolf. At a facility like this one, which was a support center for the Navy and the Marine Corps, you get a broad spectrum. You get officers. You get young enlisted. There may have been Navy as well as Marine Corps people there, although we do know that it is four United States Marines who were gunned down.
One other detail I can tell you is the Pentagon tells us that they've been told by federal law enforcement the gunman never set foot on federal property. So we know that from the recruiting center, it was at a shopping mall. He shot through the door.
But this could indicate that at the second site, where the Marines were killed, the gunman stayed essentially outside the fence line and shot from public property. The Marines may never have known. We don't know. They may never have seen the gunman coming at them.
BLITZER: Here is the president of the United States in the Oval Office.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tell me when everything is ready.
I just received a briefing from FBI Director Comey, as well as my White House team, about the tragic shooting that took place in Chattanooga today. We don't know yet all the details. We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks. We've identified a name. And at this point a full investigation is taking place. The FBI will be in the lead, working closely with local law enforcement.
We've also been in contact with the Department of Defense, to make sure that all our defense facilities are properly attentive and vigilant as we sort through exactly what happened.
And as details of the investigation proceed, we'll make sure that the FBI, as well as local law enforcement, are providing the public with all the information that's involved.
My main message right now is obviously the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals, who have served our country with great valor, to be -- to be killed in this fashion. And, although the families are still in the process of being contacted, I want them to know that I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences, and knowing that they have their -- they have our full support as they try to overcome the grief that's involved here.
I also want to say that there are reports of injuries to Chattanooga local law enforcement officials. Thankfully, as far as we know at this point, they have survived the assault, and we want to make sure that they know that we're thinking of them. They're in our thoughts and prayers.
You know, we take all shootings very seriously. Obviously, when you have an attack on a U.S. military facility, then we have to make sure that we have all the information necessary to make an assessment in terms of how this attack took place and what further precautions we can take in the future. And as we have more information, we'll let the public know. But in the meantime, I'd ask all Americans to pray for the
families who are grief stricken at this point; and I want everybody to understand that we will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
BLITZER: The president of the United States inviting reporters and photographers into the Oval Office just moments ago to make that statement. The president saying it appears to be a lone gunman. The FBI will be the lead investigator in this entire shooting rampage. The U.S. military is going to be taking properly attentive and vigilant steps to make sure U.S. military personnel are secure.
Four U.S. Marines shot and killed in this attack today in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, who himself was shot by law enforcement, he is -- he is the shooter. We're learning more about this individual, born in 1990, 24 years old.
We'll take a quick break. We'll share what we're learning with you when we come back.
[17:38:36] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, a deadly shooting rampage targeting a U.S. Navy Reserve center and a U.S. military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The FBI just identified the gunman to CNN as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, born in 1990. He also is dead.
Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, is joining us from Chattanooga. He's working the story for us.
Drew, tell our viewers what you're finding out.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: This is the naval operations center, the Marine Reserve center, that building right over my right shoulder. You can just see the top of it, Wolf. This is where it all ended, where the suspect was killed and, unfortunately, where the four Marines were killed.
And as we go to aerial video and other video that we shot earlier, you can actually see what we believe to be the suspect's car, the Mustang, in the center of the approach to this building.
Unfortunately, the police and the FBI have been very cautious giving out any kind of details, so we can't tell you exactly what chain of events took place here, but from Barbara Starr -- Barbara Starr's reporting at the Pentagon, we've heard that this suspect was not able to get onto any kind of federal property.
That would make us assume that whatever shootout there was happened very close to that car, since it was out in the parking lot area.
But again, this is where a massive undertaking is going on, the forensic evidence being collected, and the investigation more or less beginning with where this whole crime ended -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Do we know the circumstances, Drew, surrounding the death of the shooter, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez?
GRIFFIN: We don't. I can tell you that, just approaching anybody here, they don't want to talk about it; they don't want to give any details. This is a tightly-run operation by the FBI, but we don't see any evidence that there are any bodies around that car, Wolf. And we can't see where the bodies might be, assuming they're still here, or where the evidence might be collected from a body. So we can't tell you that.
I wish I could, but we just can't tell you the scenario for how or where these Marines were when they were shot.
BLITZER: Drew Griffin is doing his work there on the scene for us in Chattanooga. We'll get back with you very quickly.
Tom Fuentes, the whole notion of the circumstances surrounding his death, we don't know right now whether he was shot by law enforcement or he wound up killing himself.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, we don't. You know, they'll tell that when they want to, but we don't know it yet. So just, you know, we don't know.
We heard that the police had chased him, possibly, from the first shooting site to the second. If that's true and if they were right behind him, maybe the police shot him. Maybe after he finished shooting, he just shot himself. We just don't know.
BLITZER: Evan, are you getting some more information?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, that's not true. One of things that happens in these cases is they have to look at -- look at the gunshot and see whether or not it was from law enforcement. I'm sure at this moment in the chaos of that moment, it probably isn't clear. It's not necessarily readily known whether or not it was a bullet from a law enforcement officer. I'm sure they didn't have time to do that right now.
Right now the focus is trying to figure out what his motivation was, whether or not there was something missed here that they should have known. This is a major thing now that we're looking at is, you know, after all of the warnings that they've had about the possible danger to military facilities around the country, that this one, off the radar, happens, is something of a big deal to the FBI.
BLITZER: This was right in the shopping and strip centers. It was obviously very vulnerable.
Guys, stand by.
We have much more on the breaking news coming up, today's shootings the latest in a line of attacks on U.S. military facilities. Do recruiting centers across the United States need more protection? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)