Waterloo Coach Shocked By News Of Tennessee Gunman
Waterloo West High School wrestling coach Kevin Emily was stunned when he learned that Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was the gunman who allegedly killed four Marines at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Thursday (July 16, 2015).
Abdulazeez was a two-year starter and team leader when he wrestled for Emily at Chattanooga's Red Bank High School. Emily, 45, told CNN's Erin Burnett during a nationally televised interview (YouTube video below), that Abdulazeez was “a great student, a good wrestler, and a smart individual.”
In the interview, Emily said he remembered Abdulazeez as someone who had many friends.
Emily, a Waterloo native, was hired as the head wrestling coach at Red Bank after he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1995. Last August, he was hired by the Waterloo School District to coach the Wahawks.
On Thursday, Emily also told the Los Angeles Times that he couldn't believe the news when former wrestlers and team parents began sending him text messages about Abdulazeez.
I just sat there in my car, just stunned. There was nothing out of the ordinary. He came from a good family. I don’t understand what went wrong with him.
As a teacher, we all have some students that we see throughout our teaching career, and we think, ‘Yeah, I saw that coming.’ With Muhammad, no. He was a leader on the team. He led by example.
The FBI has identified Abdulazeez, 24, of Hixson, Tenn., as the gunman in the rampage. Federal authorities said Abdulazeez drove a silver Ford Mustang convertible to a recruiting center at 10:45 a.m. local time and fired more than a dozen rounds into the building.
After his initial barrage, he led responding police officers on a high-speed chase to a second military installation, where he opened fire again, killing the four Marines. Three other people were reportedly wounded. Officials said Abdulazeez also died in the attack.
Federal authorities are trying to determine what motivated Abdulazeez's attack and they are looking into the possibility that the shooting rampage was an act of terrorism.
Courtesy: CNN via YouTube