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Mass. Native Among 4 Marines Killed In Shootings At Chattanooga Military Facilities

SPRINGFIELD (CBS) – A Massachusetts native was one of four marines killed Thursday in shootings at a pair of Tennessee military facilities.

According to the India Battery 3rd Battalion 12th Marines Facebook page, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan was shot and killed in Chattanooga on Thursday along with three of his fellow marines.

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire at two military facilities on Thursday, killing four Marines and injuring two other service members and a police officer, officials told CBS News.

Sgt. Thomas Sullivan
Sgt. Thomas Sullivan of Springfield. (Image Credit: Nathan Bill's Restaurant)

Among them was Sullivan, 40, who was a Springfield native.

Sullivan's brother owns Nathan Bill's Restaurant and Bar in Springfield.

A large American flag was hanging at the entrance to the business on Friday morning, and flowers were left outside the front door.

Nathan Bill's Springfield
Nathan Bill's in Springfield. (WBZ-TV)

Just last weekend Sullivan had visited the bar.

The business posted on its Facebook page about Sullivan's death.

"Rest In Peace Gunnery SGT. Thomas Sullivan. Anyone who went to Holy Cross School, Cathedral High School or grew up in the East Forest Park knew who Tommy was. He was our hero and he will never be forgotten. Please keep his family & friends in your thoughts & prayers. Thank you Tommy for protecting us," the business posted.

Sullivan's parents live in Hamden, a town near Springfield.

Family members asked for privacy, and a police cruiser was parked in a neighbor's driveway to assure it would be granted.

The American flag is being flown at half staff in Hamden and throughout the state to honor the four marines who lost their lives on Thursday.

Friends of the Sullivans offered their sympathies.

"I mean, all you can do is pray for them and give them a hug," says family friend, Kit Devlin. "There's nothing to say. What's done is done."

The loss hit home for Springfield resident Nathan Johnson, who lost a brother in Iraq.

"I know what the Sullivan family is going through," he said. "'s heartbreaking."

Gov. Charlie Baker discussed the tragedy.

"It's really hard to know what to say about something like this when it happens," he said, "How much you feel for the family and friends whose lives will never be the same."

WBZ-TV's Susie Steimle reports

Abdulazeez, who sources told CBS News was born in Kuwait and came to the United States in 1996, was killed after the attacks.

Investigators will work to determine if the attack had any connection to ISIS.

According to in Springfield, Sullivan served two tours of duty in Iraq, and earned a Purple Heart.

Officials at Cathedral High School, where Sullivan was a member of the Class of 1994, said in a statement that the community is saddened by his death.

"This morning it is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our Cathedral brother, Thomas Sullivan '94. Thomas, a Gunnery Sgt., Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient was killed yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee," the school said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sullivan family and with those who called Thomas friend and brother."

A U.S. Marines spokeman said "The remains of the Marines who lost their lives in the tragic July 16 incident in Chattanooga are currently en route to Dover, Delaware. Upon arrival, transfer cases will be draped and an honorable transfer will be conducted.

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