By Adrian Sainz
MEMPHIS – Subdued by fellow soldiers and arrested by local police, a Tennessee National Guardsman was being held Friday and awaiting charges in the shooting of two of his superiors at an armory north of Memphis.
The sergeant first class, whose name was not released, had been disciplined before he opened fire with a handgun Thursday at the armory in Millington, Tenn., according to a law enforcement official who had been briefed on the case.
The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The wounded were identified late Thursday by the Tennessee National Guard as Maj. William J. Crawford and Sgt. Maj. Ricky R. McKenzie. In a news release, Guard spokesman Randy Harris said the two were shot while disarming the gunman.
One was shot in the lower leg and the other in the foot. Both have been treated and released from the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, a hospital official said.
All three of the men were recruiters, and the shooter has been in the Guard about six or seven years, said Maj. Gen. Max Haston, adjutant general of the Tennessee Guard.
Asked about the discipline the man had faced before the shooting, Haston would say only that there were “administrative policies and procedures that we were going through with him.”
The man was being held pending the filing of charges.
The armory, which houses a recruitment office, sits across the street from Naval Support Activity Mid-South on land that used to be part of a larger military installation. Navy officials ordered a lockdown there during the tense minutes after the midafternoon shooting, lifting it after word came that the gunman was in custody.
Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback said the shooter was apprehended by other National Guard members and he did not have the small handgun used in the shooting in his possession by the time officers arrived. Stanback said one victim was shot in the foot, the other in the leg.
“I’m sure there could have been more injury if they hadn’t taken him into custody,” Stanback said.
There are more than 7,500 military, civilian and contract personnel working on the Navy base, according to its website. The facility is home to human resources operations and serves as headquarters to the Navy Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, the Navy Manpower Analysis Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center.