According to an anonymous law enforcement official who spoke to the New York Times, “some of the Marines” killed in last week’s attack in Chattanooga “sacrificed themselves” to protect others at the recruitment center:

An excerpt:

Some of the Marines who were shot to death last week in Chattanooga, Tenn., effectively sacrificed themselves to save the lives of others, diverting the gunman away from a larger group of potential victims, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation into the killings.

“This could have been a lot worse,” said the official, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation. “It could have been a horrible, horrible massacre — so much worse.”

[…]

The law enforcement official could not confirm published reports that some of the service members returned fire, but confirmed that a few of them were armed at the time.

Heroes.

There is a press conference scheduled for later today and hopefully we’ll hear more about these brave men.

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Related:

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‘Class act’ Peyton Manning visits site of Chattanooga terror attack

Anyone want to try telling this 5-year-old that he can’t wear his Marine Corps uniform in Chattanooga? [photo]