After the horrifying July 16 massacre of four Marines in Chattanooga, Governor Greg Abbott has authorized the Texas National Guard to arm Guardsmen at military facilities across The Lone Star State.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith, who was severely wounded during the shooting as he sacrificially tried to save others, died early this morning. He is the fifth American service member murdered by Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez.
“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,” Abbott said. “Arming the National Guard at these bases will not only serve as a deterrent to anyone wishing to do harm to our servicemen and women, but will enable them to protect those living and working on the base.”
Smith saw Abdulazeez coming but focused on warning others to run. That’s when Abdulazeez, described by CNN as a “devout Muslim,” opened fire, shooting seven people. Smith was shot in the liver, colon and stomach, said his grandmother, Linda Wallace.
Thomas Sullivan, a native of Hampden, Massachusetts; Squire “Skip” Wells, a native of Marietta, Georgia; David Wyatt, a native of Burke, North Carolina; and Carson Holmquist of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, died that day. All were combat veterans.
Two surviving wounded are a Marine recruiter who was shot in the leg, as well as a Chattanooga police officer, Dennis Pedigo, who was shot in the ankle.
Abbott now joins governors in Florida and Louisiana in the push to arm Guardsmen.