These Are the 5 Military Service Members Who Were Killed in the Chattanooga Mass Shooting

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, and Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith

A memorial for the Marines murdered in Chattanooga.Mark Zaleski/AP

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The US military has identified the four Marines killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While media attention is certain to continue focusing on the killer in the days ahead, the stories of the victims began to emerge into view on Friday. The slain Marines join an ever growing list of mass shooting victims in the United States.

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan
Sgt. Sullivan, who grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, joined the Marines in 1997. He was awarded two purple hearts and a Combat Action medal for his service during the Iraq war, where he served two tours of duty. After returning from Iraq, Sullivan graduated from American Military University with a degree in Criminal Justice. The 40-year-old was an artillery instructor, and, according to Oak Lawn Patch, was planning to retire in the next few years. He was known as “Tommy” to friends and family. Several posts expressing condolences have circulated on Facebook, including one from his brother who owns the The Nathan Bills Bar and Restaurant, and from the punk band Dropkick Murphys, one of Sullivan’s favorite bands.

Staff Sgt. David Wyatt
Staff Sgt. Wyatt, 39, was an operations chief who specialized in field artillery and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded several medals for his service, including a Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal. An Arkansas native, Wyatt was an Eagle Scout who studied at University of Montana. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist
A Wisconsin native, 27-year-old Sgt. Holmquist was an automotive maintenance technician who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. ABC News reports that Holmquist was so proud to be a Marine that he visited his hometown immediately after bootcamp dressed in his formal blues. His former football coach told ABC News that Holmquist was an “avid sportsman who loved to hunt and fish, a young man committed to succeeding.” He is survived by his wife and young son.

Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells
Cpl. Wells was just 21 years old. From Marrieta, Georgia, he reportedly left Georgia Southern University to follow his calling and was serving in the Marine Forces Reserves at the time of the attack. His mother Cathy told Fox News that the two had visited Disney World last week, where Wells was honored as a member of the military, and that he died “doing what he loved for the love of his country and his family.” ABC News reports that Cathy was a single mother and that Wells was her only child. He played clarinet in the marching band and ROTC, and had just arrived in Tennessee the day before the shooting to report for a two-week assignment.

Updated, July 20:

Navy Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith

On Saturday, the Navy confirmed that Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith succumbed to his injuries, bringing the death toll to five. Family members told The Navy Times that the 24-year-old from Ohio loved baseball and played for Defiance College. He joined the Navy in 2010 following in his grandfather’s footsteps, serving as a logistics specialist. Family members also told a local TV news station that, despite being seriously injured, he gave his wife the thumbs up after initial surgeries. He died in the hospital early Saturday morning. He is survived by his wife and three young daughters.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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