By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE — Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all U.S. and state flags at half-staff at state buildings following the death of four U.S. marines, including one reportedly from Springfield, in a shooting rampage in Tennessee.
Thursday’s order, which first took effect at sunrise Friday, also applies to town halls and city halls and the governor’s office plans to in the future provide detail on when the flags can be returned to full staff.
“The senseless violence that occurred in Tennessee is a terrible tragedy made worse by the fact that the brave individuals whose lives were taken answered the call to serve and protect our nation,” Baker said in a statement Friday morning. “Today, our prayers are with the wounded as we wish them a full recovery and our hearts are with the loved ones left behind by the heart breaking loss of four American patriots.”
According to the Republican of Springfield, Springfield native Thomas Sullivan, 40, was among those killed. The newspaper said he did two tours of duty in Iraq and earned a Purple Heart, awarded to soldiers wounded by an instrument of war.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the victims were part of a reserve artillery unit that had been activated three times to serve in the Iraq War, including in the Battle of Fallujah.
The shootings, which injured three and killed four, took place at a recruitment center and a reserve center in Chattanooga, Tenn. and the shooter, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, also died, according to the FBI.