Suspected Chattanooga gunman Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old Muslim, is accused of killing four Marines and a sailor last week in Tennessee in a shooting spree. It turns out Abdulazeez had trained mixed martial arts for a time when he was younger at Chattanooga Fight Factory under coach Scott Schrader and even competed inside the cage.
According to USA Today, Schrader described Abdulazeez as “a good grappler, a good wrestler,” and said “he was a good, respectful kid” that he never had a problem out of. The MMA trainer also thought Abdulazeez was trying to become more Americanized but his family was not in favor of him fighting and eventually he gave it up.
New reports suggest Abdulazeez had been battling depression and had his issues with drugs. Sources close to the investigation say Abdulazeez was “clearly contemplating suicide” and was trying to “figure out how he could kill himself without sinning”. This idea of martyrdom may have been his way out.
Ever what the reason is, six people are now dead, including the gunman.
Those that were killed are:
- Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist
- Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith
- Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan
- Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells
- Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt
You can learn more about each of these fallen soldiers here.
Here’s more from Coach Schrader: