​Marines tell of chaos, bravery during Chattanooga attack

CHATTANOOGA - The FBI revealed Wednesday that at least one Marine fired at the Chattanooga shooter last Thursday to try to stop the rampage that left five service members dead at a training facility.

The gunman -- Muhammod Abdulazeez -- had earlier wounded a Marine at a nearby recruiting center.

Lance Cpl. Christopher Gilliam, 25, was working inside the recruitment center when he spotted Abdulazeez out of a window. Gilliam said he alerted others, moments before Abdulazeez opened fire.

Gilliam and four Marines -- Staff Sgt. Robert Driver, Sgt. Winfield Thompson, Gunnery Sgt. Camden Meyer, and Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley -- fled out the back of the building.

evening-news-air-record-net03mdc-01frame13069.jpg
Sgt. Demonte Cheeley
CBS News

The four Marines have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. They never expected to face the enemy at home.

Sgt. Cheeley was shot through his left thigh. He said at first it didn't occur to him that he had been hit.

"It was all adrenaline running," he said.

Sgt. Thompson told CBS News he feels lucky to be alive.

"There were a lot of shots fired," he said. "We definitely had someone looking out for us that day for sure."

The gunman went on to kill four Marines and a sailor at the Navy Operational Support Center.

Gunnery Sgt. Camden Meyer, 35, knew three of the victims, including Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, who has been credited with helping several service members escape.

"He took care of his Marines, and I believe that was the right thing to do," said Meyer.

Staff Sgt. Robert Driver knew some of the fallen as well.

"That's what the Marine Corps is all about," said Driver. "Our motto is never leave a Marine behind."

It's that kind of self-sacrifice that has brought thousands to pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the scene of the shooting.

The Marines say Thursday's attack underscores their mission. After our interview, all five Marines we spoke to went back to work recruiting in the area.