Sgt. Dennis Pedigo was the police officer shot when a gunman opened fire at two military recruiting centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday morning.
Four Marines were killed in the shooting and the gunman, Mohammod Youssof Abdulazeez, was also killed. At least three others were injured.
Here’s what we know about Pedigo:
1. He’s in Stable Condition
Pedigo is in stable condition, according to The Guardian.
He was shot in the ankle when he responded to the shooting, according to WBIR.com.
WBIR reports that his family was staying with him at Erlanger Medical Center. The hospital was placed on lockdown, according to RT.com. According to Pedigo’s uncle via Facebook, Pedigo had to go into surgery and might have a long recovery.
2. He’s a 16-Year Veteran Who Has Overseen the Department’s K-9 Unit
Pedigo is a 16-year veteran of the Chattanooga Police Department, according to the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department. During this time, he has worked as the K-9 coordinator for the police department, according to an article in the Times Free Press.
Two of his officers were suspended in 2003 for falsifying K-9 records — acts done without Pedigo’s knowledge. In 2003, Pedigo helped add cameras to one out of four police cars in the Chattanooga police force. The change took Pedigo three years to implement, which he began in order to help address local citizens’ complaints.
3. He’s Well-Respected in the Community & Volunteers to Help Youth
Pedigo had many well wishes on Facebook, including comments about how he was a “great man” and a “professional police officer.” The Ooltewah Youth Association noted online that Pedigo coached and volunteered with them for many years.
4. The City Rallied With a Massive Display of Love for Pedigo & the Other Victims
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said in a press conference that he had never seen a city rally so quickly in the face of tragedy. He said he was proud of how the state and city have handled the situation, WSMV reported.
Chattanooga Mayor Andrew Berke called the shooting “a nightmare” and “incomprehensible to see what happened,” WRCB reported. The gunman, WRCB reported, had several weapons on him. One witness referred to the shooting “endless shots, one after another.” The Navy recruiting offices in the area told employees to go home and stay close to their homes. The U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District of Tennessee said the shooting is considered domestic terrorism.
5. Authorities Believe the Gunman Acted Alone
Abdulazeez is believed to have acted alone in his terrorism attack, according to The Telegraph. He did not have any known connections with either recruiting facility. Security at government facilities in the United States is being increased in wake of the attacks. Several other attacks have occurred at military bases in recent years. Nidal Hasan waged an attack at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, killing 13. A second, unrelated attack occurred at Fort Hood in 2014, killing four. In 2013, an attack at the Washington Navy yard killed 12.