Homeland Security and the FBI issue a joint statement:
We have no information at this time indicating that this incident was either inspired, directed, or assisted by individuals associated with an identified designated foreign terrorist organization. However, the FBI investigation into his activities while overseas and the nature and extent of his affiliation with FTOs (foreign terrorist organizations) is ongoing. We have no information to date to suggest that these trips [over the past year to the Middle East] were associated with any nefarious or violent extremist activities
Authorities seek to determine if the shooter was inspired by ISIS or a similar organization or was a “lone wolf,” attack, where Abdulazeez acted on his own. U.S. Attorney Killian says that although the shootings are currently being investigated as “domestic terrorism”, they are not as of yet officially classified as an act of terrorism.
Abdulazeez’s family blame depression for turning their son’s actions. The family also say he was taking antidepressant medications at the time of the shooting.
There are no words to describe our shock, horror, and grief. The person who committed this horrible crime was not the son we knew and loved. For many years, our son suffered from depression. It grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence.
In a statement family members say that their son had suffered from drug and alcohol addiction since he was in his early teens. They also stated that he used substances to self medicate his depression. In addition to marijuana, alcohol and several anti-depressants, Abdulazeez was taking muscle relaxants for a back problems as well as another prescription medication to help him sleep. Family spokesperson:
[Abdulazeez] suffered from depression since his early teen years and also fought drug and alcohol abuse, spending time in Jordan last year to help him clean himself up. He was self-medicating, deeply depressed and having a hard time working the night shift at his job.
Abdulazeez’s family members offer condolences and sympathy to the families of those killed.
We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the honorable servicemembers and police officers who were victims of the shooting our son committed on Thursday in Chattanooga, Tennessee— our community, and one we have loved for over twenty-five years. Our prayers go out to the victims’ families, friends, and everyone who is affected by this tragedy. We understand there are many legitimate questions that need to be answered. Having said this, now is the time to reflect on the victims and their families, and we feel it would be inappropriate to say anything more other than that we are truly sorry for their loss.
President Obama condemns the shooting deaths, says a full investigation is under way, and says the Department of Defense is working to bolster security at all of its facilities.
It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion. I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences. We will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened. 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 as to how this attack took place and what precautions we should take in the future.