Shooting shatters city's sense of innocence

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher, shown in an editorial board meeting at the Times Free Press, praised his officers Thursday for their actions in making sure "no further loss of life happened."

The loss of the city's innocence, for the moment, is deafening.

Chattanooga, which has been on top-10 lists of United States cities for coolness, beauty, Bible-mindedness and pet adoptions recently, has now been thrust into national headlines for a terroristic-like shooting in which five are dead, including the alleged shooter, and several more are wounded.

Only hours after the incident, federal, state and local officials wouldn't say whether everything that happened Thursday at the Army Recruiting Center on Lee Highway and the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center off Amnicola Highway was as simple as a horrific crime or was a coordinated, planned attack with domestic or international ties.