Servicemen risked their lives to save others in Chattanooga shooting

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Marines Risked Lives To Save Others In Chattanooga Shooting

Officials say a number of the service members killed in the Chattanooga shooting last week sacrificed themselves to save countless others.

Law enforcement officials announced Wednesday some of the Marines diverted the gunman away from a larger group, drastically reducing the number of victims.

"This could have been a lot worse," one official told the New York Times. "It could have been a horrible, horrible massacre — so much worse."

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Chattanooga, Tennessee Shooting memorials, tributes
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Servicemen risked their lives to save others in Chattanooga shooting
Marine First Sargeant John Coyne announces the names of the fallen Marines and Sailor during Roll Call at a memorial service Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The service is for four Marines and a sailor killed as a result of attacks on a military recruiting station and a Naval operations center July 16 in Chattanooga. (AP Photo/Mark Gilliland)
In this image released by the U.S. Navy, pallbearers carry the casket of Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith at the Chattanooga National Cemetery, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Scott was one of five servicemen whose death was the result of a series of shootings at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16, 2015.(Spc. 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/U.S. Navy via AP)
Pallbearers carry the casket of U.S. Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith after a service at First Baptist Church, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Smith was wounded and later died during an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16, 2015. (Michael D. Cole/U.S. Navy via AP)
Marines give a final salute to Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan during ceremony at the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Agawam, Mass. Sullivan was one of five service members killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tenn. on July 16. The gunman was killed by police. (Don Tregger/The Republican via AP, Pool)
Mourners arrive at Holy Cross Church for a funeral service for Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan in Springfield, Mass., Monday, July 27, 2015. Sullivan was one of five service members shot to death in the July 16 attack in Chattanooga. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Cathy Wells, center, the mother of Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," stands after being presented with flowers at a memorial service at Sprayberry High School, where Wells attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Cathy Wells, left, the mother of Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," is embraced by Lance Cpl. Kurt Bright, one of Wells' best friends upon arriving for a memorial service for her son at Sprayberry High School where he attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Mourners cheer during a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," at Sprayberry High School where Wells attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Balloons are released during a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," at Sprayberry High School where he attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Bill Lettmkuhl kneels by a makeshift memorial in front of near the Armed Forces Career Center on Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, of Hixson, Tenn., attacked two military facilities on Thursday, in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Keari Anderson walks through the memorial near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: Ronald May prays as he supports a cross at a memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there and a Navy sailor. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Ron Fahy and Misty Fahy hold a sign that reads,' American Lives Matter', as they attend a prayer service near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Vehicles flying American flags are seen as they arrive near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Jared Eldridge (L) and Zach Henderson fly American flags over highway 153 as they show their support for their country after four U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor were killed on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: John Kennon (L) and Lilla Kennon attend the East Ridge United Methodist Church for a prayer service to honor the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Lilla Kennon wipes away tears as she attends the East Ridge United Methodist Church for a prayer service to honor the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Teresa Jennings (L) and Miranda Jennings hold candles as they attend the East Ridge United Methodist Church for a prayer service to honor the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Members of the Highways and Hedges Ministry prepare to setup a wooden cross near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: U.S. Navy sailor Evan Montgomery places American flags in a memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: Christina Reed (L), Aaron Workman and Julia Morrison (R) pay their respects at a memorial setup at the entrance to the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center where four United States Marines and a Navy sailor were killed on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: Joan Jones holds Isaiah Watson ,2, as they pay their respect at a memorial setup at the entrance to the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center where four United States Marines and a Navy sailor were killed on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: A sign is seen among the memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Flowers and a sign are seen in the memorial near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Heather Brame and her son, J.T. left, sign a poster by a makeshift memorial outside the Armed Forces Career Center Saturday, July 18, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The U.S. Navy says a sailor who was shot in the attack on a military facility in Chattanooga has died, raising the death toll to five people. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
A man and woman comfort one another by a makeshift memorial outside the Armed Forces Career Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man, who by accounts lived a typical life in suburban America, attacked the career center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Laurie Norman becomes emotional as she looks at a makeshift memorial outside a military recruiting center Friday, July 17, 2015, where a gunman opened fire Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn. Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man, who by accounts lived a typical life in suburban America, attacked the career center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Toy soldiers are seen in the memorial setup near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Regina Ingram looks at a makeshift memorial outside a military recruiting center Friday, July 17, 2015, where a gunman opened fire Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn. Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man, who by accounts lived a typical life in suburban America, attacked the career center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Melissa Gallagher prays with her children as they pay their respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Flags stand in a make-shift memorial as people gather at the scene of a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Monday, July 20, 2015, four days after it was targeted in a pair of shootings that left five people dead. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez attacked two military facilities, including the career center, last week in a shooting rampage that killed a U.S. Navy sailor and four Marines. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Johnny Stapp whose son just entered the Marine Corps. places flags in the memorial in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Eli Arnold places an American flag in the memorial in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Alicia Nerren (R) prays with her children as they pay their respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Laurie Norman is overcome with emotion as she pays her respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Blake Miller and his mother, Ashley Miller whose husband is a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps pay their respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy more than seven miles away and killed four United States Marines there. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Miller-Motte Technical College students and others join in prayer across the highway from the strip mall where a gunman attacked the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy more than seven miles away and killed four United States Marines there. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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During the press conference, FBI agents confirmed one Marine inside a recruitment center managed to shoot at the gunman, but they didn't say if he was able to wound him. The gunman was taken down shortly after during a police shootout.

Here are the victims of the tragedy:
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Tennessee Shooting victims
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Servicemen risked their lives to save others in Chattanooga shooting
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: A photograph of the victims is seen among the memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: An image of slain Navy sailor, Petty Officer Randall Smith, is projected on the wall of the the East Ridge United Methodist Church as they hold a prayer service to honor the four Marines and Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Caroline Dove holds a photo of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, her boyfriend, in her hands July 17, 2015, at her home in Savannah, Ga. Wells was among four Marines killed July 16, 2015, in an attack at a military training facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire Thursday, July 16, 2015, on two U.S. military sites in Chattanooga in an attack that left four Marines dead and raised the specter of terrorism on U.S. soil. He was killed by police.(AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
Caroline Dove holds a photo of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, her boyfriend, in her hands July 17, 2015, at her home in Savannah, Ga. Wells was among four Marines killed July 16, 2015, in an attack at a military training facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire Thursday, July 16, 2015, on two U.S. military sites in Chattanooga in an attack that left four Marines dead and raised the specter of terrorism on U.S. soil. He was killed by police.(AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
Caroline Dove holds a photo of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, her boyfriend, in her hands July 17, 2015, at her home in Savannah, Ga. Wells was among four Marines killed July 16, 2015, in an attack at a military training facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire Thursday, July 16, 2015, on two U.S. military sites in Chattanooga in an attack that left four Marines dead and raised the specter of terrorism on U.S. soil. He was killed by police.(AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
This screen shot provided by Caroline Dove, of her cell phone text application, shows what she says was her final text message exchange with her boyfriend, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Wells was among four Marines killed Thursday by a gunman at a Navy-Marine training center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Wells' final text message to Dove read, "ACTIVE SHOOTER." They were discussing plans for her to visit the following week. (Courtesy of Caroline Dove via AP)
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