The messages started rolling in around 11 p.m.
How can I protect my family? Where do I sign up for classes? What should I do? They came through emails, over Facebook, the phone.
More than 25 questions later, Kristi Manning started to feel guilty. After Thursday's violence, the gun-shop owner didn't want to pull attention from the shooting, didn't want to dishonor the fallen.
But the community needed protection.
"I am including the link to anyone who wants to sign up for classes," she wrote early Friday morning on Carter Shooting Supply's Facebook page.
Since then, the phones haven't stopped.
In the wake of 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez's Thursday assaults on a military recruitment center and the U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center that killed five, hundreds of Chattanoogans have purchased weapons and signed up for gun-carry permits, shop owners said.
"It's crazy," said Carl Poston of Sportsman's Supply & Services. "Every time the phone rings, it's somebody asking. We signed up 50 people just this morning for handgun classes."
To some, the spike was unsurprising. Mass shootings tend to inspire anyone on the fence about buying a gun, said John Martin, owner of the Shooter's Depot.
Since Friday, the Shooter's Depot has sold 89 guns, 15,000 rounds of ammunition and booked nearly 300 handgun-carry-permit classes. Carter Shooting Supply's stock sold so rapidly, Manning needs to obtain 15 to 20 guns to fulfill weekend orders. And at Sportsman's Supply & Services, sales skyrocketed 50 percent, Poston said. The owners estimated that first-time gun buyers comprised only a small fraction of sales.
"If you brought an orange, $5 Home Depot bucket down to my store, you could not fill it," Martin said Monday, "because I'm out of ammunition."
Responding to the spike, politicians downplayed the gun sales and focused on Second Amendment rights and what some termed the "act of terrorism" by Abdulazeez.
"I think whenever a story like this breaks that terrorism is implicated, people feel the need to protect themselves," said U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
Asked whether more armed civilians was a good thing, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., also mentioned his support of the Second Amendment, then shifted the conversation.
"In a time like this, I think we need to focus on the horrific act," he said. "We have to focus on what it was: an act of terrorism. This proves that it's real."
Although authorities have not connected Abdulazeez to any terrorist organizations such as ISIS — also known as the Islamic State — one of the big unknowns is his weapons supply. Where did he purchase them?
Manning, Martin and Poston said they rifled through databases, searching for his name, but found nothing. "First thing I did Thursday morning," said Manning.
Nor do they recall Abdulazeez wandering through their stores or using their firing ranges. Regardless, the boom has aided business.
"But I hate that it's coming off death," Manning said.
On Thursday, she posted a statement on her company's Facebook page around 11 p.m., reflecting on the shooting.
"I know there are so many that are as shocked by this as I am," she wrote. "This can happen anywhere, even our city."
After the impassioned message, people contacted Manning, prompting her to share her information about gun-carrying classes.
The dilemma tore at her. What was the right thing to do? Inform the community, knowing that she would profit from it? Or keep quiet, believing in her heart that several would go unprotected?
She chose to post.