But on another day, a happier one, it’s the place to be, and that says something about the Sullivan family.

He said authorities are still trying to determine whether police saw him ram the gates of the center, get into the facility and shoot and kill the four Marines.

Family of Randall Smith have traveled to Tennessee to be by his side.

“He was a friend of mine, a good Muslim”.

Sullivan and another Marine were about to enter the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga when they were warned that the gunman was exiting.

“After the recent shooting in Chattanooga, it has become clear that our military personnel must have the ability to defend themselves against these type of attacks on our own soil”, Abbot said.

Islam and Sheikh both said that in the years they had known Abdulazeez, he never expressed any negative feelings about the United States or members of the military. Islamic State had threatened to step up violence in the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which ends on Friday evening.

“We are saying that is a possibility that we will explore, but we have no indication that he was inspired or directed by anyone other than himself”, the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said.

The suspected gunman, Muhammed Youssef Abdulazeez, then drove seven miles to a Naval Reserve Center, rammed through a fence and open fire again.

Three of the Marines were veterans who’d survived tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reinhold of the FBI said the gunman “did have at least two long guns”, meaning rifles or shotguns, “and he did have one handgun that we’re aware of”.

The other soldiers slain in the shooting were Marines: Thomas Sullivan, of Hampden, Mass., Squire “Skip” Wells, of Marietta, Ga., David Wyatt, of Burke, N.C., and Carson Holmquist of Grantsburg, WI.

In addition, the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist groups, said that Abdulazeez blogged on Monday that “life is short and bitter”, and Muslims should not miss an opportunity to “submit to Allah”. Reuters could not independently verify the postings. “There was no reason to suspect anything otherwise”, said Ken Smith, a city councilman who met with neighbors Thursday night.

He briefly worked at a nuclear power plant in Ohio in May 2013, but was sacked for not meeting minimum employment requirements, said a spokeswoman for Perry Nuclear Power Plant operator FirstEnergy.

Smith, a logistics specialist, underwent surgery after being shot three times during the incident.

Bureau said at the time that it was just considered another joke. The suit was dismissed and the couple signed a post-nuptial agreement. One neighbour recalled Abdulazeez giving him a ride home when he was stranded in a snowstorm.

Blake was dressed up like a marine, just like his dad.

“There’s this misconception that Islam is a violent religion”.

Going into the weekend, more details about Abdulazeez – a University of Tennessee engineering graduate and mixed martial arts enthusiast who grew up in a middle-class neighbourhood – slowly emerged.

Reinhold said Abdulazeez had “several weapons” and fired from inside his vehicle at the recruitment center before moving to the reserve centre, leaving his vehicle and opening fire.