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Obama Offers Condolences, Vows Prompt and Thorough Probe Into Chattanooga Rampage

Obama urged prayers for the families of four Marines killed in a rampage at a military center in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Thursday.
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President Barack Obama offered the condolences of the American people to the families of four Marines who were killed in an attack on two military facilities in Chattanooga Thursday morning, and vowed an "thorough and prompt" investigation.

"My main message right now is obviously the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four marines that have been killed," Obama said Thursday afternoon, hours after a gunman killed four Marines and at a reserve center.

"It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion," Obama said.

"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 our full support as they try to overcome the grief that’s involved here," Obama said.

The gunman, identified as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, was killed after a shootout with police at a second facility. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kuwait, a federal official said.

A motive in the attack has not been released, but officials said Abdulazeez was the only gunman. Authorities are investigating the attack as an act of domestic terrorism. A defense official said the gunman used an automatic weapon. Two military personnel and a Chattanooga police officer were wounded in the attack,

"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," Obama said.

"I’d ask all Americans to pray for the families who are grief-stricken at this point," Obama said. "And I want everybody to understand that we will be through and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened."